Same copy, different outlet: Wire services, journalism and the erosion from within

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Conference Paper

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Interim status: Citation only.

Johnston, J. L. & Forde, S. (2010). Same copy, different outlet: Wire services, journalism and the erosion from within. Paper presented at the IAMCR Conference 2010: Communication and Citizenship, Braga, Portugal.

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© Copyright Jane Louise Johnston & Susan Forde, 2010


This paper examines the role of Australia’s single news agency, Australian Associated Press (AAP) in the news media landscape and positions this within the broader international context. It uses a UK study which suggests news agency dominance of international news on the internet and investigates these claims in the Australian context. Specifically, we examine the prevalence of AAP copy in the ‘Breaking News’ sections of two major news websites to create a preliminary understanding of the impact of AAP on news content. The findings suggest an overwhelming reliance on wire copy – particularly AAP – in this section of two of Australia’s leading online newspapers. The paper and its associated data-gathering techniques form part of a broader examination of the role of wire services in Australian journalism, and particularly the evolving role of wire services as a source or origin for news stories in an increasingly 24/7 news environment. It raises issues of global significance about the political economy of news and the impact that an increasing use of syndicated news copy from wire services is having on news agendas, diversity and journalistic practice.

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