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.
AAP's numbers yesterday –
Our top 10 sport stories were published 1595 times.
Our top 10 news stories were published 2514 times.
That's 4109 blank spaces on websites and newspapers, dead air on radio that would need to be filled without us.
— Karen Sweeney (@karenlsweeney) March 3, 2020
“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.
The saddest day: AAP closes after 85 years of excellence in journalism. The AAP family will be sorely missed. @AAPNewswire
— Tony Gillies (@TonyGillies) March 3, 2020
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 is a disaster for Australian journalism, AAP's excellent staff, and democracy. https://t.co/4UKY5NZpo0
— David Washington (@DavidWashingto2) March 3, 2020
This article was first published on the AAP Newswire.
here's the AAP story about AAP closing – yes, someone had to write it up and send it out on the wire pic.twitter.com/GEoNM1jWN1
— Angus Livingston (@anguslivingston) March 3, 2020
-AAP with InDaily staff
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