Agency Journalism – A brief history
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Translation: Fairpress

Author: Fairpress editorial

Where does news come from and how does it spread is the question we’re going to deal with in this article. This article is about so-called agency journalism and its role in news production and provides a brief overview of the development of agencies throughout history.

Agency journalism / reporting is a form of journalism that comes to life through agencies whose purpose is to transfer news to newspapers, magaizines, radio and television stations.

According to the lexicon of radio and television, agency journalism is a type of journalism tailored to the need for quick, accurate and concise information and reports for different media users; It contains news and information that is unbiased, i.e. without any value judgments.

Agencies appeared in the middle of the 19th century as journalistic services, and with the development of technology, a significant part of the agencies have become photoservices. The first journalistic agencies were Havas and Reuters. In 1835 Charles-Louis Havas founded the first journalistic agency Havas in Paris. Havas’s associate Julius Reuter founded the Reuters news agency in 1851. After radio and television journalism came around, agency journalism started to appear and develop in every country. The world’s most renowned agencies are Reuters, the Associated Press (AP), and Agence France Press (AFP). Namely, although there is a large number of news agencies in the world, these three have offices in most countries and cover all areas of information. It should also be noted that with the strengthening of the television market, news agencies have expanded their activity, namely some of the strongest agencies for the distribution of video and TV materials today are Associated Press Television News (APTN) and Reuters TV.

In Croatia, agency journalism is being conducted by Hina (Croatian News Agency), IKA (Informative Catholic Agency) and STINA.

Hina was established by the Hina Law, which was adopted in Croatian Parliament on July 26, 1990. As stated on Hina’s website, it is the public media and the only national news agency in Croatia

whose users are almost all of the most important electronic and print media in the country. The first agency news of Hina was published on August 17, 1990, and from June 1, 2004, the General News Service was launched. It should be noted that in the beginning Hina published only information on events in Croatia. Today, in addition to the Croatian media, Hina’s news is taken by a number of news agencies it collaborates with, such as ANSA, AFP, Reuters, APA, STA, and numerous portals in the region. On average, Hina publishes 300 pieces of news, reports and newsletters/bulletins per day, and about 250 photographs.

The Informative Catholic Agency (IKA) was established by the Croatian Episcopal Conference on April 22, 1993. As it stands on the pages of this agency, it was founded as a legal entity at the church and civilian area for the purpose of gathering and transferring information about church and religious life in the area of the Church of the Croatian Language and relevant information about the Church in the world as well as all public events from from the morally-religious standpoint. IKA started to work on November 1, 1993, the first news was broadcasted on November 10, and the first newsletter was released on January 13, 1994.

Furthermore, regarding STINA, it is an independent news agency based in Split. I was established in 1991 with the goal of to contribute to professional and objective informing, to oppose media spread of hate and to help overcome communication barriers and to establish communication bridges in the states that were being created due to the collapse of former Yugoslavia. Since then it has grown into a news agency working with numerous media outlets and institutions in the country and abroad.

It should also be noted that there are several different associations of news agencies. EANA is the European Alliance of News Agencies. OANA (The Organization of Asian-Pacific News Agencies) is an association of news agencies of the Asia-Pacific region. MINDS (Mobile Information and News Data Services) is a global network of leading news agencies working in partnership with new media.


This article was created with the support of the Fund for the Promotion of Pluralism and Diversity of Electronic Media within the project “Media Reality” – Developing and Encouraging the Media Literacy Programme



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