international news agencies

12 Prominent International News Agencies and their Geo-Political Significance

International news agencies

International news agencies are crucial in delivering timely and accurate information to audiences worldwide. These agencies are like watchdogs for information in the constantly changing world of global news coverage and serve as the backbone of global journalism, providing news coverage from around the globe.


Paul Julius Reuter, a German national, founded Reuters in 1851. From 1860 to 1914, Reuters was an imperial organization, the semi-official institution of the British Empire.

Originally established as a telegraph company, it quickly became a news agency, providing timely and accurate information to clients worldwide.

From the American Civil War to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Reuters was the first to break the news, and thereby, it established a reputation as a credible deliverer of information in real time. Over the years, Reuters has built a reputation for its commitment to journalistic integrity and unbiased reporting.

Reuters employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. It is a primary provider of commercial information like foreign exchange rates, stock exchange prices, commodity prices, etc.

Reuters is listed on both the London and New York stock exchanges. Reuters receives only 10% of its revenues from subscriptions, whereas 90% comes from its financial services’ clients.

Thomson Reuters Corporation, a multinational media conglomerate, currently owns Reuters, with its headquarters in London.

Beyond its role as a news content provider, Reuters holds significant geopolitical significance. Its extensive reach allows it to influence public opinion on important issues by shaping narratives through its reporting.

Associated Press (AP)

Associated Press is a non-profit cooperative organization established in 1846 in New York, following the merger of five daily newspapers. Since its contributing newspapers own AP, it is independent and dedicated to upholding journalistic integrity.

It operates 243 bureaus in nearly 120 countries, with an international staff worldwide. The subscription fees it charges its international media clients keep it going. According to its website, the AP provides news to more than half of the world’s population on any given day.

Associated Press also operates the Associated Press Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice an hour and offers news and public affairs features, feeds of news sound bites, and long-form coverage of significant events. It also operates Associated Press Television News (APTN), a global video news agency.

AP’s services go beyond traditional news reporting. It offers multimedia content such as photos and videos that accompany their stories. Additionally, it provides data-driven journalism through interactive graphics and analysis.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a renowned international news agency that has played a significant role in shaping the global media landscape. Established in 1835, AFP has a rich history spanning over 180 years, making it one of the oldest news agencies in the world.

AFP is one of the world’s three major international news agencies and the only European one. It has 2,400 employees of 100 different nationalities in 151 countries and provides information in six languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic.

AFP is a nonprofit, autonomous public corporation chartered under a specific 1957 law, operating commercially and independently of the French government.

The director and the board, which consists of 15 people, are in charge of running the agency. Among them are 8 members of the French Press, 2 are France-Presse personnel, 2 are from state TV and radio, and 3 are state representatives. The Prime Minister proposes the first state representative, the Minister of Finance proposes the second, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs proposes the third.

The primary client of AFP is the French government, which purchases subscriptions for its various services. In practice, those subscriptions are somewhat of a subsidy to the AFP.

Xinhua News Agency

xinhua news agency

Xinhua News Agency, or New China News Agency, is the official state news agency of the People’s Republic of China. It was founded in 1931 as the press outlet of the Chinese Communist Party. Xinhua News Agency is headquartered in Beijing and has offices worldwide with over 10,000 working journalists.

The Xinhua News Agency provides comprehensive domestic and international news coverage from a Chinese perspective. Xinhuanet is the web portal for news and information services of Xinhua News Agency. It is China’s most influential online media, which serves as an essential window for the world to understand China.

On average, it claims to release some 15,000 media publications daily in Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, German, Portuguese, and Mongolian Cyrillic.

In 2005, Reporters Without Borders called Xinhua News Agency “The World’s Biggest Propaganda Machine”. The report stated that the news agency was “at the heart of censorship and disinformation put in place” by the government. 

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

DPA German news agency

DPA Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH is a German news agency founded in 1949 in Hamburg as a joint venture of the German media.

DPA is one of the world’s leading international news agencies, providing services and solutions for the entire media and communications industry: digital services for editorial offices, customized photo services, business news, IT services, and services that support press relations and communications.

DPA correspondents are based worldwide, covering politics, economics, culture, and sports events, among other topics.

DPA is a limited liability company with around 170 shareholders. Newspaper and magazine publishers, as well as broadcasting companies, hold the shares.

The shareholding pattern is managed in such a way that no one shareholder can acquire a majority stake. Governments, institutions, and organizations are customers of DPA, but they do not hold shares to maintain its independence and integrity.

Agencia EFE

agencia-efe international news agency

Agencia EFE, S.A. is a Spanish international news agency, the central Spanish-language multimedia news agency, and the world’s fourth-largest wire service after the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.

Ramón Serrano Ser and Manuel Aznar Zubigaray, who served as Spain’s former ministers of the press and propaganda, founded it in 1939.

EFE is a multimedia news company with a worldwide network of journalists. More than 3000 professionals of 60 nationalities work from more than 180 cities in 110 countries and with five editing desks in Madrid, Bogota, Cairo (Arabic service), Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese service), and Bangkok (English multimedia service) to offer its products to clients on the five continents.

EFE claims to distribute 3 million news items a year in different formats: text, photographs, audio, video, and multimedia, which reach more than 2000 media outlets worldwide every day, with a potential audience of 250 million people.

Kyodo News

Kyodo News Agency

Kyodo News is Japan’s primary news agency, established in November 1945, delivering comprehensive coverage of domestic and international events. It is a nonprofit cooperative news agency based in Minato, Tokyo.

With an emphasis on Japanese and Asian viewpoints, its coverage ranges from political, economic, and societal developments to sports, arts, and culture. It distributes news to almost all newspapers, radio, and television networks in Japan.

Kyodo News has won a reputation as Japan’s most reliable news agency. Operating with an annual budget from membership dues and other subscription revenues, Kyodo is completely independent of government and commercial interests.

In addition to Japanese-language services, Kyodo also offers English-language and Chinese-language services.

As part of its Asian news-gathering network, Kyodo has bureaus in Seoul, Pyongyang, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, New Delhi, Islamabad, Tehran, Kabul, and Baghdad.

Kyodo reporters based in other parts of the world also keep a close watch on Asia-related news. Additionally, Kyodo has local correspondents in Vladivostok, Ulan Bator, Dili, Yangon, Kathmandu, Colombo, and Dhaka, providing thorough news coverage from all of Asia.

Anadolu Agency

Anadolu International News Agency

Anadolu Agency is Turkey’s leading news agency with a global presence. It is a state-run news agency headquartered in Ankara, Turkey. It was founded in 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence.

Journalist Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu and writer Halide Edip, established the agency on April 6, 1920, 17 days before the Turkish Grand National Assembly convened for the first time. Anadolu announced the first legislation passed by the Turkish Assembly, which established the Republic of Turkey.

During the Turkey War of Liberation, the Anadolu Agency informed the citizens about what was happening in the rest of the world. The agency also defended the national struggle and informed the public about Turkiye’s rightful demands.

Anadolu offers quality Turkish and international political, financial, and sports news coverage. The agency distributes news in the form of text, images, info graphs, and supplements to various media channels.

Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA)

ANSA international news agencies

The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata is the leading news agency, based in Rome, Italy. ANSA is a not-for-profit cooperative whose shareholders are 26 publishers of 43 major Italian newspapers.

After World War II, Italian sports journalist and director Edgardo Longoni founded ANSA in 1945. He was also the first general manager, and he remained in office until 1947. ANSA covers national and international events through its bureaus all over the world.

In 2017, ANSA signed an agreement with AFP and DPA to launch the European Data News Hub (EDNH), which provides free news about the European Union.

The agency’s line of business includes furnishing news, pictures, and features and supplying news reporting services to newspapers and periodicals.

Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS)

TASS Russian News Agency

The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) is a Russian state-owned news agency founded on July 10, 1925. It is the largest Russian news agency and one of the largest news agencies worldwide.

TASS took over as the central information agency for Russia. It enjoyed the “exclusive right to gather and distribute information outside the Soviet Union, as well as to distribute foreign and domestic information within the Soviet Union and manage the news agencies of the Soviet republics”. TASS comprised the news agencies of all the Soviet republics.

The news agency was named the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) in January 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the proclamation of sovereignty by democratic Russia. However, in September 2014, the agency returned to its former name, TASS.

TASS publishes nearly 3,000 news items in six languages and about 700 photographs and videos from 1,800 employees and correspondents in Russia and across the world daily. Its services are available in all official UN languages – English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and French.

TASS is the only mass media outlet in the world that has its own news office in space, at the International Space Station.

Middle East News Agency (MENA)

MENA News Agency

The Middle East News Agency was established on December 15, 1955, as a joint stock company owned by Egyptian press establishments and the Egyptian government.

After getting the nod from the Egyptian Cabinet on February 8, 1956, to formally establish the agency, MENA began distributing news on February 28, 1956.

In 1960, MENA was nationalized along with other press establishments and was affiliated with the Ministry of Information. In 1978, MENA became a national press establishment affiliated with the Shura Council, like the other national press institutions in Egypt.

In Arab culture, a Majlis-ash-Shura, or Shura Council, is an advisory or consultative council. The Shura Council was established under Egypt’s 1971 Constitution as a consultative upper chamber of the Parliament and was first elected in 1980.

As a regional news agency, MENA presents a clear picture of events and developments of interest to the region, whether they occur in the region or are relevant to it in world capitals. MENA transmits news to its subscribers daily in Arabic, English, and French.

In the past decade, MENA has expanded its services to include the Video Bulletin Service, Social Media Unit, Info Graph Department, and SMS service for all cell phone operators in Egypt.

MENA has cooperation and news exchange contracts with many Arab, regional, and foreign news agencies. It is also a founding member of the following agencies: the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the Pan-African News Agency (PANA), now defunct Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool, the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA), and the Association of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN).

Australian Associated Press (AAP)

AAP News Agency

Keith Murdoch established Australia Associated Press in 1935 to share the cost of international newswires between Australian news outlets.

In August 2020, AAP’s Newswire and Fact Check businesses were acquired and transformed into purpose-driven, not-for-profit organizations. AAP no longer has shareholders and is committed to independent, fact-based journalism.

AAP claims to be Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing factual public-interest journalism across various topics, including politics, courts, sports, finance, and entertainment.

AAP services are provided to various customers: media, corporates, government, brands and agencies, education, and sporting bodies.

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