American Football Database
The Associated Press
Types of business entityNot-for-profit cooperative
FoundedMay 1846 (1846-05)[1]
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, United States
Area servedWorldwide
Key peopleTom Curley, President and CEO
IndustryNews media
ProductsWire service
Revenuedecrease $631 million USD (2010)[2]
Operating incomedecrease $14.7 million USD (2010)[2]
Net incomedecrease $8.8 million USD (2010)[2]

The Associated Press is an American news agency. 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 staff journalists. 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.

As of 2005, the news collected by the AP is 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 all over the world.

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.

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 United Press International still produces and distributes news stories daily. Other English-language news services, such as Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States. More recently launched internet news services, such as All Headline News (AHN) are becoming competitive to the traditional wire services like the AP.


AP headquarters at 450 West 33rd Street, New York City

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 New York City to share the cost of transmitting news of the Mexican-American War by boat, horse express, and telegraph. The venture was organized by Moses Yale Beach (1800–68), second publisher of the New York Sun, and agreed to by the Herald, Courier and Enquirer, Journal of Commerce, and the Express. Some historians believe that the Tribune joined at this time; documents show it was a member in 1849. The New York Times became a member in 1851. Initially known as the New York Associated Press (NYAP), the organization faced competition from the Western Associated Press (1862), which criticized it for monopolistic practices in gathering news and setting prices. An investigation completed in 1892 by Victor Lawson, editor and publisher of the Chicago Daily News, revealed that several principals of the NYAP had entered into a secret agreement with United Press, a rival organization, to share NYAP news and the profits of reselling it. The revelations led to the demise of the NYAP and in December 1892, the Western Associated Press was incorporated in Illinois as the Associated Press. An Illinois Supreme Court decision (Inter Ocean Publishing Co. v. Associated Press) in 1900—that the AP was a public utility and operating in restraint of trade—resulted in AP’s move from Chicago to New York City, where corporation laws were more favorable to cooperatives.[citation needed]

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 for which AP is still known. 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 Supreme Court of the United States held in Associated Press v. United States that AP had been violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by prohibiting member newspapers from selling or providing news to nonmember organizations as well as making it very difficult for nonmember newspapers to join the AP. In 1982, satellites began transmitting news photography. 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 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. AP headquarters are at 450 W. 33rd Street in Manhattan.

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]

Key dates

  • 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, 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 teleprinter, which transmitted directly to printers over telegraph wires. Eventually a worldwide network of 60-word-per-minute teleprinter machines is built.
  • 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 66 years.[5]
  • 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.
  • 1951: AP Prague bureau chief William N. Oatis is arrested for espionage by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia. He is not released until 1953.
  • 1994: AP launches APTV, a global video news gathering agency, headquartered in London.
  • 2004: The AP moves its headquarters from 50 Rock to 450 W. 33rd Street, New York City.[5]
  • 2006: AP joined YouTube.
  • 2008: The AP launches 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.[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • 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.

AP sports polls

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.

AP sports awards


In 1959, the AP began its AP Manager of the Year Award, for Major League Baseball. The award was discontinued in 2001.[8]


Every year on March 31, 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.

American football

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 the 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

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.[9]

Christopher Newton

The Associated Press fired Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Christopher Newton in September 2002, accusing him of fabricating at least 40 people and organizations since 2000. Some of the nonexistent agencies quoted in his stories included "Education Alliance," the "Institute for Crime and Punishment in Chicago," "Voice for the Disabled" and "People for Civil Rights."[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

Copyright and intellectual property

In August 2005, Ken Knight, a Louisiana photographer sued[13] 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 Pennsylvania photographer sued the Associated Press claiming that the AP had cropped a picture to remove the plaintiff's embedded title and copyright notice and later distributed it to news organizations without the plaintiff's permission or credit. According to court documents the parties settled the lawsuit.[14]

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.[15] According to court documents the AP did not have a license to resell or relicense the images.

Shepard Fairey

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.[citation needed]

Hot News

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.[16][17] 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.[18] According to court documents, the case has been dismissed and both parties have settled the lawsuit.[19]

In June 2010 the Associated Press was accused[20] 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.[21]


The Associated Press is governed by an elected board of directors.[22]

Web resource

The AP's multi-topic structure has lent itself well to web portals, such as Yahoo! and MSN, all of which have news sites that 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.[23] In 2007 Google announced it was paying for Associated Press content displayed in Google News, but the articles are not permanently archived.[24] On December 24, 2009, Google stopped displaying or hosting Associated Press news content on the Google News website.[25]


  1. Pyle, Richard (2005-01-31). "19th-century papers shed new light on origin of The Associated Press". Associated Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Associated Press. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  3. "Wire That Photo" Popular Mechanics, July 1937
  4. "Down On The Wire". Forbes. 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-09. "Last year, AP generated only about 30% of its revenue from U.S. newspapers. The rest came from global broadcast customers (37%), online ventures (15%) and other revenue sources, such as international clients and photography, (18%). is a customer of AP."
  5. 5.0 5.1 "AP leaves 50 Rock for West 33rd Street Headquarters" (Press release). The Associated Press. 2004-07-19. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  6. The Associated Press (2009-05-21).“AP Mobile rings in one-year anniversary ”, AP, Press Release.
  7. "Associated Press Reports Narrow 2009 Profit". Media Post. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  8. AP Manager of the Year Award, Retrieved 2009-09-29. In 1950, however, AP gave a "manager of the year" award to Eddie Sawyer of the Philadelphia Phillies. "Eddie Sawyer Honored in Baseball Vote". Prescott Evening Courier: p. Section 2, Page 1. November 8, 1950.,6584502&dq=phillies+yankees&hl=en. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  9. "The Messy Falling Out Between The AP And iCopyright". Paid Content. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  10. "Fib Newton". October 29, 2002. Retrieved 2008-04-16. "The Associated Press accused Washington bureau reporter Christopher Newton of journalistic fraud last month and sacked him. The AP alleges that in at least 40 of the many hundred stories Newton wrote for the wire service between January 13, 2000, and September 8, 2002, Newton quoted sources who appear not to exist."
  11. AP's Fair Use Challenge (Harvard Law)
  12. Hansell, Saul (June 16, 2008). "The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-09. "The Associated Press, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, said that it will, for the first time, attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright. To date, those standards have not been provided."
  13. Ken Knight v. The Associated Press, . Text
  14. McClatchey v. The Associated Press, . Text
  15. Lopez v. The Associated Press, . Text
  16. 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
  17. Anderson, Nate. "Who owns the facts? The AP and the "hot news" controversy".
  18. The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., 08 Civ. 323 (United States District Court, Southern District of New York 2009-02-17). Text
  19. Citizen Media Law Project
  20. Masnick, Mike (2010-06-01). "AP Sues Others For Copying Its Reporting, But Has No Problem Copying Bloggers Without Citation". TechDirt. Retrieved 2010-06-01
  21. Sullivan, Danny (2010-06-01). "How The Mainstream Media Stole Our News Story Without Credit". Daggle. Retrieved 2010-06-01
  22. "Facts & Figures: AP Board of Directors". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  23. "Nintendo Customer Service: Wii News Channel". Nintendo. Retrieved 2009-11-17. "Using the international resources of the Associated Press, the News Channel gives Wii users free access to stories in multiple categories from across the country and around the world."
  24. "Google News Becomes A Publisher.". Information Week. August 31, 2007.;jsessionid=PBT2QGMTUGF0AQSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=201803549&_requestid=555255. Retrieved 2008-04-26. "'Because the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, U.K. Press Association and the Canadian Press don't have a consumer Web site where they publish their content, they have not been able to benefit from the traffic that Google News drives to other publishers,' Josh Cohen, business product manager for Google News, explained in a blog post. 'As a result, we're hosting it on Google News.'"
  25. "Google Stops Hosting New AP Content". Retrieved 2010-01-11.

Additional sources

  • Associated Press. Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else (June 17, 2007). Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 432. ISBN 1568986890.
  • Schwarzlose, Richard. Nation's Newsbrokers Volume 1: The Formative Years: From Pretelegraph to 1865 (January 1, 1989). Northwestern University Press. pp. 370. ISBN 0810108186.
  • Schwarzlose, Richard. Nation's Newsbrokers Volume 2: The Rush to Institution: From 1865 to 1920 (February 1, 1990). Northwestern University Press. pp. 366. ISBN 0810108196.
  • Schwarzlose, Richard. The American Wire Services (June 1979). Ayer Co Pub. pp. 453. ISBN 0405117744.
  • Fenby, Jonathan. The International News Services (February 12, 1986). Schocken Books. pp. 275. ASIN B000LD4XUO. ISBN 0805239959.

External links