News agencies, whether global or national, do not register in public consciousness as strongly as newspapers and broadcasting stations, yet they perform crucial functions in the flow and provision of news across the world. Even CNN and other global satellite TV organizations that now bestride the world of communications are better known than the oldest news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), established in 1832. This entry provides an overview of the historical development of news agencies and describes their current challenges.


News agencies emerged in the mid-19th century to satisfy the need for news and mercantile information of the expanding press, financial, and industrial institutions. In terms of commencement, the French took the lead when Charles-Louis Havas, a writer and translator from Rouen, started Agence Havas in ...

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