A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news reports to organizations in the news trade: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. They are also known as wire services or news services.
News agencies can be corporations that sell news (e.g. Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP)), cooperatives composed of newspapers that share their articles with each other (e.g. AP), or commercial newswire services which charge organizations to distribute their news (e.g. Business Wire, CSRWire Canada, e|c|o/Huff Strategy, the Hugin Group, Market Wire and PR Newswire). Governments may also control news agencies, particularly in authoritarian states, like China (Xinhua). Australia, Britain, Canada, Russia (ITAR-TASS) and many other countries also have government-funded news agencies. A recent rise in internet-based alternative news agencies as a component of the larger alternative media have emphasized a "non-corporate view" that is independent of the pressures of business media.
News agencies generally prepare hard news stories and feature articles that can be used by other news organizations with little or no modification, and then sell them to other news organizations. They provide these articles in bulk electronically through wire services (originally they used telegraphy; today they frequently use the Internet). Corporations, individuals, analysts and intelligence agencies may also subscribe. The business need for wire services to produce reports acceptable to the largest number of clients possible is largely credited for the move away from an openly partisan press toward more objectivity in journalism.
Many publicly traded companies solicit business analysis firms to produce favourable reports and then submit these through wire services. These stories often form the basis for public news about a company and may affect stock performance. Environmental advocacy groups have recently begun co-opting this process with campaigns that use these same channels. The recent Greenpeace campaign regarding Apple Inc. is one such example.