1. The Associated Press

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  5. About The Associated Press

    The Associated Press, or AP, 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 staffers. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributive members of the cooperative.

    As of 2005, the AP's news is published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The cooperative's photograph library consists of more than 10 million images. It operates 243 news bureaus and serves 121 countries, with a diverse international staff drawing from all over the world.

    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 republication 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 Stylebook has become the de facto standard for newswriting in the United States. The AP employs a straightforward, "just-the-facts" writing style, often using the "inverted pyramid formula" for writing that enables news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication space without losing the story's essential meaning and news information.

    The demise of AP's traditional rival, United Press International, as a major American competitor in 1993 left the AP as the only nationally oriented news service based in the United States. Its other rival English-language news services, such as Reuters and the English language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.

    The explosive growth of online media and news outlets upon the arrival of the Internet has posed a threat to the AP's financial structure. During its annual meeting on April 18, 2005, the organization announced that, as of 2006, it would for the first time begin charging separate fees for posting articles and images online. News outlets that purchased AP news, sports, business and entertainment coverage for traditional publication or broadcast previously had been allowed to also post that material online at no extra cost. The cooperative later backed down from this plan and, in a bid to reach more readers, launched asap, a service aimed toward 18- to 34-year-olds. The targeted service was discontinued in October 2007. [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_ASAP?SITE=AP&SECTION;=HOME&TEMPLATE;=DEFAULT&CTIME;=2007-07-27-18-24-41].

    AP's American employees, except for a small group classified by the organization as administrative, are represented by the News Media Guild and the Communication Workers of America.

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