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Associated Press

Associated Press
Type Not-for-profit cooperative
Industry News media
Founded May 1846 (1846-05)[1]
Headquarters 450 West 33rd Street, New York City, New York, U.S. 10001
Area served Worldwide
Key people Gary B. Pruitt, President and CEO
Products Wire service
Revenue Decrease US$627.6 million (2011)[2]
Operating income Decrease US$34.2 million (2011)[2]
Net income Decrease US$193.3 million (2011)[2]
Employees 3,400
Website .orgAP
The AP headquarters in October 2008, located at 450 West 33rd Street, in New York City.

The Associated Press (AP) is an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City. The AP is owned by its contributing newspapers, radio, and television stations in the United States, all of which contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. The AP staff is represented by the Newspaper Guild union, which operates under the Communication Workers union, which operates under the AFL-CIO.

As of 2005, the news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The photograph library of the AP consists of over 10 million images. The Associated Press operates 243 news bureaus and it serves at least 120 countries, with an international staff located worldwide. Associated Press also operates the Associated Press Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice hourly for broadcast and satellite radio and television stations. The AP Radio also offers news and public affairs features, feeds of news sound bites, and long form coverage of major events. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members of the cooperative. That places the unionized AP staff in a position to strongly influence public opinion.

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 re-publication 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 employs the "inverted pyramid formula" for writing that enables the news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication area without losing the story's essential meaning and news information.

Cutbacks at longtime U.S. rival United Press International, most significantly in 1993, left the AP as the primary nationally oriented news service based in the United States, although UPI still produces and distributes news stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.


  • History 1
    • Web resource 1.1
  • Key events timeline 2
  • AP sports polls 3
  • AP sports awards 4
    • Baseball 4.1
    • Basketball 4.2
    • Football 4.3
  • Associated Press Television News 5
  • Litigation and controversies 6
    • Breach of contract and unfair competition 6.1
    • Christopher Newton 6.2
    • Fair use controversies 6.3
    • Copyright and intellectual property 6.4
      • Shepard Fairey 6.4.1
      • Hot News 6.4.2
    • Illegal immigrant 6.5
    • Hoax tweet and flash crash 6.6
    • Justice Department subpoena of phone records 6.7
  • Governance 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes and references 9
    • Notes 9.1
    • References 9.2
  • External links 10


Logo on the former AP Building in New York City

Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative formed in the spring of 1846 by five daily newspapers in Melville Stone, who had founded the Chicago Daily News in 1875, served as AP General Manager from 1893 to 1921. He embraced the standards of accuracy, impartiality, and integrity. The cooperative grew rapidly under the leadership of Kent Cooper (served 1925–48), who built up bureau staff in South America, Europe and (after World War II), the Middle East. He introduced the “telegraph typewriter” or teletypewriter into newsrooms in 1914. In 1935, AP launched the Wirephoto network, which allowed transmission of news photographs over leased private telephone lines on the day they were taken. This gave AP a major advantage over other news media outlets. While the first network was only between New York, Chicago and San Francisco, eventually AP had its network across the whole United States.[3]

In 1945, the United Press International, headed in 1935-55 by Hugh Baillie.

AP entered the broadcast field in 1941 when it began distributing news to radio stations; it created its own radio network in 1974. In 1994, it established APTV, a global video newsgathering agency. APTV merged with WorldWide Television News in 1998 to form APTN, which provides video to international broadcasters and websites. In 2004, AP moved its world headquarters from its longtime home at 50 Rockefeller Plaza to a huge building at 450 West 33rd Street in Manhattan—which also houses the New York Daily News and the studios of New York's public television station, WNET. In 2009, AP had more than 240 bureaus globally. Its mission —“to gather with economy and efficiency an accurate and impartial report of the news”—has not changed since its founding, but digital technology has made the distribution of the AP news report an interactive endeavor between AP and its 1,400 U.S. newspaper members as well as broadcasters, international subscribers and online customers.

The Associated Press began diversifying its news gathering capabilities and by 2007 AP was generating only about 30% of its revenue from United States newspapers. 37% came from the global broadcast customers, 15% from online ventures and 18% came from international newspapers and from photography.[4]

Web resource

The AP's multi-topic structure has resulted in web portals such as Yahoo! and MSN posting its articles, often relying on AP as their first source for news coverage of breaking news items. This and the constant updating evolving stories require has had a major impact on the AP's public image and role, giving new credence to the AP's ongoing mission of having staff for covering every area of news fully and promptly. The AP is also the news service used on the Wii's News Channel.[5] In 2007 Google announced it was paying for Associated Press content displayed in Google News.[6] In late 2009 Google stopped displaying or hosting AP content on its news website due to a dispute over their licensing agreement.[7] In mid 2010 Google announced an extension of this agreement has been agreed, allowing AP content to appear again.[8]

Key events timeline

  • 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.
  • 1876: Mark Kellogg, a stringer, was the first AP news correspondent to be killed while reporting the news, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
  • 1893: 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 introduced the teleprinter, which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a worldwide network of 60-word-per-minute teleprinter machines is built.
  • 1935: AP initiated WirePhoto, the world's first wire service for photographs. The first photograph to transfer over the network depicted an airplane crash in Morehouse, New York, on New Year's Day, 1935.
  • 1938: AP expanded 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 66 years.[9]
  • 1941: AP expanded from print to radio broadcast news.
  • 1945: AP war correspondent Joseph Morton was executed along with nine OSS men and four British SOE agents by the Germans at Mauthausen concentration camp. Morton was the only Allied correspondent to be executed by the Axis during World War II. That same year, AP Paris bureau chief Edward Kennedy defied 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.
  • 1951: AP war correspondent Prague bureau chief William N. Oatis was arrested for espionage by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia. He was not released until 1953.
  • 1994: AP launches APTV, a global video news gathering agency, headquartered in London.
  • 2004: The AP moved its headquarters from 50 Rock to 450 W. 33rd Street, New York City.[9]
  • 2006: AP joined YouTube.
  • 2008: The AP launched AP Mobile (initially known as the AP Mobile News Network), a multimedia news portal that gives users news they can choose and provides anytime access to international, national and local news. AP was the first to debut a dedicated iPhone news application in June 2008, offering AP’s own worldwide coverage of breaking news, sports, entertainment, politics and business as well as content from more than 1,000 AP members and third-party sources.[10]
  • 2010: AP earnings fall 65% from 2008 to just $8.8 million. The AP also announced that it would have posted a loss of $4.4 million had it not liquidated its German language news service for $13.2 million.[11]
  • 2011: AP lost $14.7 million in 2010 as revenue plummeted for a second consecutive year. 2010 revenue totaled $631 million, a decline of 7% from the previous year. This is despite sweeping price cuts designed to bolster revenues and help newspapers and broadcasters cope with declining revenue.
  • 2012: Gary B. Pruitt succeeds Tom Curley to become president and CEO. Pruitt is the 13th leader of AP in its 166-year history.[12]
  • 2012: AP revenues continued to slide and losses mount as the company posted a $193.3 million total loss in 2011.

AP sports polls

The AP is known for its 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. Despite the invention of the BCS, the AP has maintained its status and is viewed as an equal to the BCS (USC's AP title in 2003). The AP poll is the longest serving national poll in college football, having begun in 1936.

AP sports awards


The AP began its Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award in 1959, for a manager in each league.[13] From 1984 to 2000, the award was given to one manager in all of MLB.[14] The winners were chosen by a national panel of AP baseball writers and radio men. The award was discontinued in 2001.[13]


Every year, the AP releases the names of the winners of its AP College Basketball Player of the Year and AP College Basketball Coach of the Year awards. It also honors a group of All-American players.


Associated Press Television News

The APTN Building in London

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, AP purchased WTN and APTV left the Associated Press building in Central London and merged with WTN to create Associated Press Television News (APTN) in the WTN building, now the APTN building in Camden Town.

Litigation and controversies

AP has been accused of bias and dissemination of American state-sanctioned propaganda on multiple occasions.

Breach of contract and unfair competition

In November 2010 the Associated Press was sued by iCopyright. iCopyright's lawsuit asserts breach of contract and unfair competition in that the Associated Press launched a copyright-tracking registry, built upon information and business intelligence that the AP misappropriated from iCopyright.[15]

Christopher Newton


Fair use controversies

In June 2008, the AP sent numerous DMCA take down demands and threatened legal action against several blogs. The AP contended that the internet blogs were violating AP's copyright by linking to AP material and using headlines and short summaries in those links. Many bloggers and experts noted that the use of the AP news fell squarely under commonly accepted internet practices and within fair use standards.[17] Others noted and demonstrated that AP routinely takes similar excerpts from other sources, often without attribution or licenses. AP responded that it was defining standards regarding citations of AP news.[18]

Copyright and intellectual property

In August 2005, Ken Knight, a Louisiana photographer sued[19] the Associated Press claiming that the AP had willfully and negligently violated Knight's copyright by distributing a photograph of celebrity Britney Spears to various media outlets including, but not limited to: truTV (formerly CourtTV), America Online and Fox News. According to court documents the AP did not have a license to publish, display or relicense the photographs. The case was settled by the parties in November 2006.

In a case filed February 2005, McClatchey v. The Associated Press, a

  • Official website
  • AP photo archive
  • AP news
  • Associated Press on Google+
  • Associated Press Network

External links

  • Associated Press (2007). Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.  
  • Fenby, Jonathan (1986). The International News Services. New York: Schocken Books.  
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (1979). The American Wire Services: A Study of Their Development as a Social Institution. New York: Arno Press.  
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (1989). The Nation's Newsbrokers, Volume 1: The Formative Years: From Pretelegraph to 1865. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.  
  • Schwarzlose, Richard (1990). The Nation's Newsbrokers, Volume 2: The Rush to Institution: From 1865 to 1920. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.  


  1. ^ Pyle, Richard (2005-01-31). "19th-century papers shed new light on origin of the Associated Press". Associated Press. 
  2. ^ a b c "Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Associated Press. April 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Wire That Photo" ''Popular Mechanics'', July 1937. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  4. ^ Hau, Louis (2008-02-14). "Down On The Wire".  
  5. ^ "Nintendo Customer Service: Wii News Channel".  
  6. ^ "Google News Becomes A Publisher".  
  7. ^ "Google Stops Hosting New AP Content". Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  8. ^ "Google, AP reach deal for Google News content".  
  9. ^ a b "AP leaves 50 Rock for West 33rd Street Headquarters" (Press release). The Associated Press. 2004-07-19. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  10. ^ The Associated Press (2009-05-21).“AP Mobile rings in one-year anniversary ”, AP, Press Release.
  11. ^ "Associated Press Reports Narrow 2009 Profit". Media Post. 2010-04-30. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  12. ^ "Gary Pruitt, of McClatchy, to become new president and CEO of The Associated Press". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  13. ^ a b AP Manager of the Year Award. Retrieved 2009-09-29. Although the award began in 1959, AP gave a "manager of the year" award in 1950 to Eddie Sawyer of the Philadelphia Phillies."Eddie Sawyer Honored in Baseball Vote". Prescott Evening Courier. November 8, 1950. p. Section 2, Page 1. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  14. ^ In 1959, when the AP began its Manager of the Year Award for a manager in each league, The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award (begun in 1936) was for one manager in all of MLB. In 1983, MLB began its own Manager of the Year Award, for a manager in each league. The following year (1984) the AP changed its award to one in all of MLB. In 1986, The Sporting News changed its award to one for each league.
  15. ^ "The Messy Falling Out Between The AP And iCopyright". Paid Content. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  16. ^ "Fib Newton".  
  17. ^ "AP's Fair Use Challenge (Harvard Law)". 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  18. ^ Hansell, Saul (June 16, 2008). "The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs".  
  19. ^ Ken Knight v. The Associated Press. Text
  20. ^ McClatchey v. The Associated Press. Text
  21. ^ Lopez v. The Associated Press. Text
  22. ^ Memmott, Mark (11 January 2011). "Shepard Fairey And AP Settle Copyright Dispute Over 'Hope' Poster". NPR. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  23. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (2009-02-22). "Hot News: The AP Is Living In The Last Century". The Washington Post (The Washington Post). Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  24. ^ Anderson, Nate. "Who owns the facts? The AP and the "hot news" controversy". 
  25. ^ The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., 08 Civ. 323 (United States District Court, Southern District of New York 2009-02-17).
  26. ^ "Citizen Media Law Project" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  27. ^ Masnick, Mike (2010-06-01). "AP Sues Others For Copying Its Reporting, But Has No Problem Copying Bloggers Without Citation". TechDirt. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  28. ^ Sullivan, Danny (2010-06-01). "How The Mainstream Media Stole Our News Story Without Credit". Daggle. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  29. ^ Christina Costantini (2 April 2013). "Associated Press Drops 'Illegal Immigrant' From Stylebook". ABC News. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  30. ^ Ruben Navarrette (6 April 2013). "Ruben Navarrette: Why 'illegal' immigrant is the right term". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Associated Press under scrutiny for nixing term 'illegal immigrant' from Stylebook". Fox News. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  32. ^ "AP Twitter Hack Falsely Claims Explosions at White House". Samantha Murphy. April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Fake Tweet Erasing $136 Billion Shows Markets Need Humans". Bloomberg. April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  34. ^ Sanchez, Raf (2013-05-13). "US Justice Department secretly seizes Associated Press phone records". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  35. ^ "US government secretly obtained Associated Press phone records". London: The Guardian. 2013-05-13. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  36. ^ Ingram, David (2013-05-13). "Associated Press says U.S. government seized journalists' phone records". Reuters Canada. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  37. ^ Gallagher, Ryan. "Verizon Wireless Secretly Passed AP Reporters' Phone Records to Feds". Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  38. ^ Curry, Tom. "Holder addresses AP leaks investigation, announces IRS probe". NBC News. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  39. ^ "Facts & Figures: AP Board of Directors". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 


Notes and references

See also

The Associated Press is governed by an elected board of directors.[39]


On May 13, 2013, the Associated Press announced telephone records for 20 of their reporters during a two-month period in 2012, had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department and described these acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.[34][35] AP reported the Justice Department would not say why it sought the records, but news sources noted the District of Columbia, US Attorney's office was conducting a criminal investigation into a May 7, 2012, AP story about a CIA operation which prevented a terrorist plot to detonate an explosive device on a commercial flight.[36] The DOJ did not direct subpoenas to the Associate Press, instead to going to their phone providers, including Verizon Wireless.[37] Attorney General Eric Holder testified under oath in front of the House Judiciary Committee that he recused himself from the leak investigations to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. Holder said his Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, was in charge of the AP investigation and would've ordered the subpoenas.[38]

Justice Department subpoena of phone records

On April 23, 2013, their Twitter account was hacked to release a hoax tweet about fictional attacks in the White House that left President Obama injured.[32] This erroneous tweet resulted in a brief plunge of 130 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, removal of $136 billion from S&P 500 index,[33] and the temporary suspension of their Twitter account. Although all executed trades were considered final, the Dow Jones later restored its session gains.

Hoax tweet and flash crash

Syndicated writer Ruben Navarrette criticized the decision, stating the reasoning behind the decision was political correctness and called the blog "incomprehensible".[30] Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said of the decision, that she doesn't get involved in "vocabulary wars" and then stated "They are immigrants who are here illegally, that’s an illegal immigrant".[31] Comedian Jay Leno said that the term should be replaced with "undocumented Democrat."[31]

In April 2013, Associated Press, through a blog entry written by the Associated Press' Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, that the Associated Press has dropped the term "illegal immigrant" from its stylebook. The blog stated that the term was dropped due to the term dehumanizing individuals. The Associated Press follows ABC, NBC and CNN in not using the term. Jose Antonio Vargas commended the Associated Press for its decision.[29]

Illegal immigrant

In June 2010 the Associated Press was accused[27] of having unfair and hypocritical policies after it was demonstrated that AP reporters had copied Hot News, original reporting and facts from the "Search Engine Land" website without permission, attribution or credit.[28]

In January 2008, the Associated Press sued competitor All Headline News (AHN) claiming that AHN allegedly infringed on its copyrights and a contentious 'quasi-property' right to facts.[23][24] The AP complaint asserted that AHN reporters had copied facts from AP news reports without permission and without paying a syndication fee. After AHN moved to dismiss all but the copyright claims set forth by AP, a majority of the lawsuit was dismissed.[25] According to court documents, the case has been dismissed and both parties have settled the lawsuit.[26]

Hot News

In March 2009, the Associated Press counter-sued artist Shepard Fairey over his famous image of Barack Obama, saying the uncredited, uncompensated use of an AP photo violated copyright laws and signaled a threat to journalism. Fairey had sued the Associated Press the previous month over his artwork, titled "Obama Hope" and "Obama Progress," arguing that he did not violate copyright law because he dramatically changed the image. The artwork, based on an April 2006 picture taken for the AP by Mannie Garcia, was a popular image during the presidential campaign and now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. According to the AP lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, Fairey knowingly "misappropriated The AP's rights in that image." The suit, which also names Fairey's companies, asks the court to award AP profits made off the image and damages. "While (Fairey and the companies) have attempted to cloak their actions in the guise of politics and art, there is no doubt that they are profiting handsomely from their misappropriation," the lawsuit says. Fairey said he looked forward to "upholding the free expression rights at stake here" and disproving the AP's accusations. In January 2011 this suit was settled with neither side admitting their position was wrong but agreeing to share reproduction rights and profits from Fairey's work.[22]

Shepard Fairey

In April 2011, Patricia Ann Lopez, a New Mexico courtroom sketch artist, sued the Associated Press claiming that the AP had violated her copyrights by reselling her images without a license and had deceptively, fraudulently and wrongfully passed off the artist's work as its own.[21] According to court documents the AP did not have a license to resell or relicense the images.


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