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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

The , or AP, is an American nonprofit news cooperative owned by .

Founded in 1846, the AP is one of the largest newsgathering organizations in the world, with about . Its primary news operation is its wire service, though it also operates a radio network as well. It has won , including 30 for its photography.

Content on the AP’s national and international wires is overwhelmingly supplied by AP staffers, while the are produced by the AP and its members. With more than 200 news bureaus, it is among the American media’s of international news.

The AP’s profits and revenue have in recent years, and it nearly lost money in 2009. About a comes from domestic newspapers, about 17 percent from online customers, and slightly less from U.S. broadcasters. Other revenue sources include .

Copyright and online aggregation

, the AP has allowed its news to be , and after a in late 2009 and early 2010, its stories are posted on Google News as well. Those licensing agreements have been a in the AP’s increase in revenue over the past decade. The AP has also of offering news slightly earlier to some aggregators for a fee.

Though AP executives have about the need to allow content to flow freely online, they have against aggregators and other online news sources for misappropriating its content, that reproduce their material without permission.

It , but ultimately , charging its members to post content online in 2005, and in 2008, it on how much of its stories bloggers could quote. In early 2009, it it would its own online content as well as that of its members against copyright violation, creating an that went . The AP is also a minority shareholder in NewsRight, which helps news organizations license their content to aggregators.

In 2012, it , a news-clipping service that, according to the AP, charged for access to a database of AP news articles for which it had not paid license fees.

In its negotiations with aggregators, it has emphasized its desire for them to prioritize the creator of news over those who repeat it elsewhere.

Its vocal stance on that issue has from , who have called it anti-Internet or argued that it is in the age of the web. Others have that the AP is going after those who steal its content, not simply link to or quote from it.

A group of newspaper executives , criticizing it for being too expensive and neglecting the basic news coverage for which it’s relied on. In 2009, the AP to reorganize its member rates, of the 180 news organizations that had intended to cancel their memberships to reconsider.

In recent years several news organizations have developed apart from the AP. CNN has created its own and has on its own site, using its own wires for breaking news.

WDCPIX is a political photo wire intended to compete with the AP, and in May 2010, the news sharing site announced its plans to “” through a new free, open news exchange. In their , Publish2 executives described the AP as inefficient, expensive and slow. The AP through its service.

The AP was the first large organization to .

Multimedia, mobile and social media

The AP has expanded its use of multimedia and social media in recent years in order to increase the social engagement and mobile accessibility of its news. It launched a in 2006, and more recently it has developed a called AP Gateway, and developed a for-pay service for the iPad. It also plans to for its entire membership.

It also launched a called the AP Nerve Center and has experimented with crowdsourcing news coverage via Twitter. It in 2012. However, in a 2011 update to its social media guidelines, it not to retweet opinions without clearly labeling them as such, and it has also before the AP sends it out on the wire and it won’t scoop the wire with social media.

The AP has outlined plans to create landing pages to compete with Wikipedia in aggregating information about breaking news, as well as plans to keep some of its unique content in one place on the web, rather than allowing its members to distribute it online.

In summer 2009, the AP launched a project to distribute stories by nonprofit news outlets. In 2011 they retooled and expanded the project with partnerships from ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and The Investigative Reporting Workshop.

The AP to limit daily bylined stories to a maximum of 500 words in 2014.

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Aug. 15, 2017 / Shan Wang
The AP makes the case that its wire stories overall do better on Facebook than individual publications’ stories — The Associated Press sends its stories off to more than 14,000 member newsrooms around the world, where they’re repackaged and shared from those newsrooms’ own social channels. But the relative success of tho...
July 13, 2017 / Joseph Lichterman
A new report says Democrats and Republicans actually get news in pretty similar ways — Though Republicans and Democrats have differing — and well documented — views of the media, members of both parties still follow the news and access media in similar ways, according to a study out Thursday from The A...
May 31, 2017 / Laura Hazard Owen
The AP Stylebook now includes new guidelines on data (requesting it, scraping it, reporting on it, and publishing it) — It’s fitting that, in a year when the Panama Papers investigation won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting (the entire leaked data set for that investigation totaled 11.5 million documents adding up to...
May 16, 2017 / Shan Wang
The Associated Press is adding more user-generated social content (verified, of course) into its wire services — A new tool from the Associated Press will now allow users of its service to pull in topical and verified content shared by users on social media such as photos and videos around breaking news. Using the web interface pro...
April 5, 2017 / Joseph Lichterman
Want to bring automation to your newsroom? A new AP report details best practices — In 2014, the Associated Press began automating some of its coverage of corporate earnings reports. Instead of having humans cover the basic finance stories, the AP, working with the firm Automated Insights, was able to u...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: May 15, 2014.
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