The world-wide news agencies: development organization, competition, markets and product. A study of Agence France Presse, Associated Press, Reuters and United Press, to 1975

Boyd-Barrett, Joseph Oliver (1978). The world-wide news agencies: development organization, competition, markets and product. A study of Agence France Presse, Associated Press, Reuters and United Press, to 1975. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000de6d

Abstract

The thesis argues that in their development, organization and news services, the major western-based global news agencies have responded and continue to respond primarily to the requirements of western markets. In particular, their domestic markets are shown to be especially important to them, and much of their early development is explained by their struggle to secure monopolistic or oligopolistic control of these markets. The struggle to, achieve security in the domestic markets greatly tempered early international competition between the agencies in a way that still has consequences for their relative market positions in certain world regions, and which has hindered their penetration of one another's domestic markets. Nevertheless, growing international competition, general difficulties in traditional domestic newspaper markets and the evolution of new client requirements have combined to stimulate considerable market diversification in recent decades, both inside and outside media client groups. Within their traditional overseas markets, the global agencies, in their organization of news-gathering and news-distribution, have made considerable use of the national news agencies. The global agencies have stimulated the development of many such agencies, entering into relationships of unequal exchange with them, while only marginally threatened by the attempts of some national agencies to upset the dominant market position of their global partners. The thesis provides evidence of contemporary agency organization, news-gathering practices and news-service content in order to support the argument that there continues to exist a structural imbalance in agency operations which favours western market interests, and to further explore the underlying significance of their organizational priorities.

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