Understanding Newswire



Newswires have been in use since before the telegraph was invented in the 1850s. Newswires are also often referred to as news agencies, a news service or a wire service. In the 1830s France had a number of agencies that provided French news stories to foreign customers. Agency Havas, one of the first recognized news wire services was established in 1835 in Paris. Understanding the use and necessity of news wires in today’s business can help satisfy federal regulations, present a cohesive marketing message, and provide general stories.

The Telegraph

With the invention of the telegraph and its rise to prominence during the 1850s news wires began to spread across the globe. The development of strong news agencies followed suit in most Western countries including Germany, Great Britain, France, the US and Austria. The direct result of mass communication through the instant transfer of the telegraph created powerful agencies that are still in existence today. Many of these agencies have become corporations yet many are now cooperatives’ network and conjunction with other news and media outlets.

The Newswire Agency

Reuters, the Associated Press and Scripps-Howard are all current examples of large-scale news wires that operate to provide news content locally, regionally, nationally and globally. A news wire such as the AP or Reuters, does not have a specific product themselves such as a radio show or newspaper content, but provides the basic images and text content to other news agencies such as newspapers, radio or television stations around the world. Generally news wires are considered to be the “official” source of information around the world. An organization like Reuters or the AP, have journalists and editors around the world that cover local events and provide their news content for every other media outlet. Stories propagated through news wire are written, edited and filed electronically so other news organizations are able to filter and search for news relevant for their audience. Local news agencies can then decide on what content they decide to print, publish, talk about or air. This news wire reporters are seen as more objective as they are not working for the end publisher. Newspapers and televisions pay service fee to access the content within the news wire agency. This allows smaller or local news agencies to fill up their news gaps with stories either locally or nationally that they could not produce themselves.


The industry has grown so much that now news lines are also available that cater to specific industries instead of general news offered by the larger news services. Companies and journalists have learned as well that sometimes it may be better to access the smaller news lines for their specific industries instead of paying the larger sums for the larger information services.

Newswires although over 100 years old have continuously innovated changed to meet current market objectives. As radio and television evolved these news services offered content by providing written scripts, background information and images for various portions of the radio and television programming market. Public relations companies have come to rely on these services to promote press releases from businesses as well.