A news agency is an organisation that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organisations, such as newspapers, magazines and radio and television broadcasters. A news agency may also be referred to as a wire service, newswire, or news service.
Although there are many news agencies around the world, three global news agencies, Agence France-Presse (AFP), the Associated Press (AP), and Reuters have offices in most countries of the world, cover all areas of information, and provide the majority of international news printed by the world’s newspapers. It does not generally publish news itself but supplies news to its subscribers, who, by sharing costs, obtain services they could not otherwise afford. All the mass media depend upon the agencies for the bulk of the news, even including those few that have extensive news-gathering resources of their own.
The news agency offers several different formats. Newspapers, radio stations, and television networks have teamed together in certain major cities to gain regular coverage of news concerning the police, courts, governments, and similar institutions. By compiling and disseminating stock market quotes, sports stats, and election outcomes, national organisations have expanded the scope of such coverage. A few organisations have expanded their services to include global news. The service now frequently includes videotape or motion picture film for television news reporting in addition to news interpretation, special columns, news pictures, audiotape recordings for radio broadcasts, and news photographs.
A news agency is an organisation which collects or gathers news and supplies it to different newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television stations subscribing to its service. News gathered reported by reporters/correspondents is sent to newspapers via electronic teleprinters or computers. These newspapers, in turn, pay a monthly subscription to use news agencies for the news they receive. A news agency office is always buzzing with activity, since it has to serve not only the print media within the country, but also transmit news to All India Radio and Doordarshan. It also supplies news to newspapers and other agencies all over the world. Thus, the news agency works round the clock as there may be some newspapers somewhere in the world going to the press (that is about to be printed) or some radio or TV bulletin about to go on air.
Firstly, the news agency does not publish any newspaper of its own. Whatever its reporters structures and management of write report, is transmitted to the newspapers and radio and television stations. It is then up mass media in India to the newspaper to use the news item sent by one news agency or that sent by another news agency, or use the report prepared by its own reporter. In fact at times, a newspaper may even prepare an item quoting some paragraphs from one agency, and some from another agency. The choice of what item to use will depend on which agency sends its copy faster and which agency has sent a better written copy. Thus, there is a constant flow of news from the news agency 24 hours a day, whereas a newspaper ‘goes to sleep’ (the printing press) after midnight every night. There are two other significant differences. Every news agency report has to be attributed to a source, unlike a newspaper story. Furthermore, there will be no comments, editorialising or interpretation in a news agency report and it will be purely a factual report.