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National news agency AAP to close, costing 180 jobs


The Australian media landscape has been rocked by confirmation the national newswire agency Australian Associated Press will be shut down at the end of June after its owners decided it was “no longer sustainable”.

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The AAP Newswire will close after 85 years of supplying content to national and global newspapers, broadcast outlets and digital editions – including InDaily.

The business is no longer viable in the face of increasing free online content, CEO Bruce Davidson said this afternoon while confirming job losses and the cessation of output at the end of June.

Australian Associated Press’s Pagemasters editorial production service will also close at the end of August.

AAP is owned by Nine, News Corp Australia, The West Australian and Australian Community Media, with smaller digital outlets paying a subscription fee.

Reports in the Nine-owned Sydney Morning Herald this week suggested News Corp and Nine had been “assessing options” about their continued support, with both likely to subsume some of AAP’s staff as they push to strengthen their presence in the Australian media market.

AAP chairman Campbell Reid – who is also a News Corp executive – described the newswire as Australian “journalism’s first responder”.

“It is a great loss that professional and researched information provided by AAP is being substituted with the un-researched and often inaccurate information that masquerades as real news on the digital platforms,” Reid said.

AAP Newswire provided reporting on general news, courts, politics, finance, entertainment, travel, racing and sport, sport results, plus images and video.

“The number of organisations choosing to no longer rely on the AAP service has made the business unsustainable,” Reid said.

AAP Newswire has more than 180 staff spread across every Australian state and territory, plus New Zealand, Los Angeles and London. In addition there are about 100 freelance photographers, with several more contractors working for Pagemasters.

Editor-in-Chief Tony Gillies paid tribute to his team, describing them as “the most humble and hardest news people”.

“We have had a place like no other in journalism. We exist for the public’s interest and I now fear for the void left by the absence of AAP’s strong, well-considered voice,” Gillies said.

This article was first published on the AAP Newswire.

-AAP with InDaily staff

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