The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.
Organizations that gather and distribute news to a range of media (and sometimes non-media) clients on a local, regional, national or international scale are known as news agencies. Some are government-owned or state-backed. The major agencies, also known as wire services, sell news and other types of information to media companies (newspapers, broadcasters and online suppliers) and other outlets, including governments, business and finance institutions, and private individuals (Boyd-Barrett, 1998a: 19). Many news agencies employ freelance journalists (Van den Bergh, 1998: 196–7) but most will also have permanent staff.
The original ‘Big Four’ major western news agencies included the US-based United Press International (UPI) (Boyd-Barrett, 1980: 14), but that has had financial difficulties leading to a restructuring (Herbert, 2001: 39–40). The leading contemporary agencies ...