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The Associated Press, or AP, is an
American news agency, and is the world's largest such organization. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staffers. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributive members of the cooperative.
As of 2005, the AP's news is published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The cooperative's photograph library consists of more than 10 million images. It operates 243 news bureaus and serves 121 countries, with a diverse international staff drawing from all over the world.
As part of their cooperative agreement with the Associated Press, most member news organizations grant automatic permission for the AP to distribute their local news reports. For example, on page two of every edition of The Washington Post, the newspaper's masthead includes the statement, "The Associated Press is entitled exclusively to use for republication of all news dispatches credited to it or not otherwise credited in this paper and all local news of spontaneous origin published herein."
The AP Stylebook has become the de facto standard for newswriting in the United States. The AP employs a straightforward, "just-the-facts" writing style, often using the "inverted pyramid formula" for writing that enables news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication space without losing the story's essential meaning and news information.
The demise of AP's traditional rival, United Press International, as a major American competitor in 1993 left the AP as the only nationally oriented news service based in the United States. Its other rival English-language news services, such as Reuters and the English language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.
The explosive growth of online media and news outlets upon the arrival of the Internet has posed a threat to the AP's financial structure. During its annual meeting on April 18, 2005, the organization announced that, as of 2006, it would for the first time begin charging separate fees for posting articles and images online. News outlets that purchased AP news, sports, business and entertainment coverage for traditional publication or broadcast previously had been allowed to also post that material online at no extra cost. The cooperative later backed down from this plan and, in a bid to reach more readers, launched asap, a service aimed toward 18- to 34-year-olds. The targeted service was discontinued in October 2007.
AP's American employees, except for a small group classified by the organization as administrative, are represented by the News Media Guild and the Communication Workers of America.
The AP was formed in May 1846 by a group of American newspapers that sought to pool resources in order to better collect and report news coming from Europe. Prior to this, the newspapers had competed by sending reporters out in rowboats to meet ships bringing news from Europe as they arrived in the harbor. The owners of these newspapers realized that they were all paying for essentially the same information and determined it would be more cost effective to have a service collect and pay for all the information once via telegraph. Their new organization originally was named the Harbor News Association; it later was renamed the Associated Press. A driving force in the organization's formation was Moses Yale Beach, publisher of the New York Sun, when he invited other New York publishers to join the Sun in a cooperative venture to cover the Mexican-American War. The four
New York papers that joined in the agreement with the Sun were the Journal of Commerce, the Courier and Enquirer, the Herald, and the Express.
1849: the Harbor News Association opened the first news bureau outside the United States, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to meet ships sailing from Europe before they reached dock in New York.
1861: Facing censorship in covering the American Civil War, reporters first filed under the anonymous byline "from the Associated Press agent."
1876: Mark Kellogg, a stringer, is the first AP news correspondent to be killed while reporting the news, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. His final dispatch: "I go with (Commander George Armstrong) Custer and will be at the death."
1893: Melville E. Stone becomes the general manager of the reorganized AP, a post he holds until 1921. Under his leadership, the AP grows to be one of the world's most prominent news agencies.
1899: AP uses Guglielmo Marconi's wireless telegraph to cover the America's Cup yacht race off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, the first news test of the new technology.
1914: AP introduces the Teletype, which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a worldwide network of 60-word-per-minute Teletype machines is built.
1919: Upton Sinclair includes a scathing criticism of the AP in his investigative book on contemporary journalism, The Brass Check.
1935: AP initiates WirePhoto, the world's first wire service for photographs. The first photograph to transfer over the network depicted an airplane crash in Morehouseville, New York, on New Year's Day, 1935.
1938: AP expands to new offices at 50 Rockefeller Plaza (known as "50 Rock") in the newly built Rockefeller Center in New York City, which would remain its headquarters for 68 years; in 2004 it relocated to larger facilities at 450 W. 33rd St. in Manhattan.
1941: AP expands from print to radio broadcast news.
1945: AP Paris bureau chief Edward Kennedy defies an Allied headquarters news blackout to report Nazi Germany’s surrender, touching off a bitter episode that leads to his eventual dismissal by the AP. Kennedy maintains that he reported only what German radio already had broadcast.
1994: AP launches APTV, a global video newsgathering agency, headquartered in London.
AP Sports Polls
The Associated Press Building in New York City. (The AP moved from this building in 2004.)The AP is known for its Associated Press polls on numerous college sports in the United States. The AP polls ranking the top 25 NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) college football and NCAA Division I men's and women's college basketball teams are the most well known. The AP composes the polls by collecting and compiling the top-25 votes of numerous designated sports journalists. The AP poll of college football was particularly notable for many years because it helped determine the ranking of teams at the end of the regular season for the collegiate Bowl Championship Series until the AP, citing conflict of interest, asked for the poll to be removed from the bowl series. Beginning in the 2005 season, the Harris Interactive College Football Poll took the AP's place in the bowl series formula. The AP poll is the longest serving national poll in college football, having begun in 1936.
Associated Press Television News
In 1994, London-based Associated Press Television (APTV) was founded to provide agency news material to television broadcasters. Other existing providers of such material at the time were Reuters Television and Worldwide Television News (WTN).
In 1998, APTV left the Associated Press building in the Central London and merged with WTN to create Associated Press Television News(APTN) in the existing WTN building in North London.
Jamil Hussein controversy
Some quesitons were raised about the legitimacy of police captain Jamil Hussein as a source for AP reporting of sectarian violence in Iraq. On January 4, 2007 the Iraqi Interior Ministry recognized Jamil as an active member of the Baghdad police force, and said he faces arrest for talking to journalists. Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf, who had previously denied the existence of Hussein, acknowledged that the officer was assigned to the Khadra police
The Associated Press is governed by an elected board of directors.
William Dean Singleton, Chairman and CEO, MediaNews Group, Denver, Colorado[[
Tom Curley, President & CEO
R. Jack Fishman, Publisher and Managing editor, Citizen Tribune, Morristown, Tennessee
Dennis J. FitzSimons, Chairman President and CEO, Tribune Company, Chicago, Illinoise
Walter E. Hussman Jr., Publisher, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Arkansas
Julie Inskeep, Publisher, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones, Publisher and CEO, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.
Mary Junck, President and CEO, Lee Enterprises, Davenport, Iowa
David Lord, President, Pioneer Newspapers, Seattle, Washington
Kenneth W. Lowe, President and CEO, E.W. Scripps Company, Cincinnati, Ohio
Douglas H. McCorkindale, Chairman, Gannett, MacLean, Virginia
R. John Mitchell, Publisher, Rutland Herald, Rutland, Vermont
Steven O. Newhouse, Chairman, Advance.Net, New York, New York
Gary Pruitt, Chairman, President and CEO, The McClatchy Company, Sacramento, California
Michael E. Reed, CEO, Liberty Group Publishing, Inc., Downer's Grove, Illinois
Bruce T. Reese, President and CEO, Bonneville International, Salt Lake
Jon Rust, Publisher, Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Jay R. Smith, President, Cox Newspapers, Atlanta, Georgia
David Westin, President, ABC News, New York, New York
H. Graham Woodlief, President, Publishing Division, Media General, Richmond, Virginia
The AP's multi-topic structure has lent itself well to web portals, such as Yahoo, msn.com, etc, which all have news pages which constantly need to be updated. Often, such portals will rely on AP and other news services as their first source for news coverage of breaking news items. Yahoo's "Top News" page gives the AP top visibility out of any news outlet. This has been of major impact to the AP's public image and role, as it gives new credence to the AP's continual mission of having staff for covering every area of news fully and promptly. The AP is also the news service used on the Nintendo Wii's News Channel.
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