A news agency is an organization of journalists established to supply news to organizations such as Newspapers, Radio , Magazines and Television Broadcasters. There are three top international news agencies in the world namely Associated Press (AP), Thomas Reuters and Agence France Presse (AFP). Associated Press is an American News agency. It is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists.
While Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London ,United Kingdom owned by Thomas Reuters. While AFP is the French news agency and oldest one in the world. It is also the largest French news agency, and headquartered in Paris. AFP is a government-chartered public corporation operating under a 1957 law, but is officially a commercial business independent of the French Government. “Biased Reporting”, is the one common thing about all three international news agencies.
Western Communication Bias:
Countries in Latin America and in many other developing nations have criticized what they believe is the western bias to the flow of information throughout the world. These countries charge that his practice imposes cultural imperialism, centered in Western Ideology. In fact most of the news agencies are based in the West like AP, Reuters and AFP. Despite Western dominance of global news agencies, many regions of the world support information services within their own countries and within their own regions.
Even with creation of additional sources of information. western news services dominate. Critics of present system of news and information flow has labeled the issue of New world information and Communication order (NWICO), saying that the current system is ethnocentric, or promoting the one ethnic group ( in this case, the Western world) over another.
Associated Press and Reuters as being the top 2 international news agencies of the world dominates the news flow. These companies gives major media attention to the developed countries of the world and the developing countries are hardly given importance. While developing countries are covered just during conflicts or disasters.
AP news agency is so large that top-down control of single news stories is practically impossible. However, research clearly indicates a built-in bias favoring official US government positions. The American people absorb these biases and make political decisions on skewed understandings. Without media systems that provide fair, critical and accurate reporting, democracy faces a dismal future.
The research conducted on the AP’s reporting of the Israel- Palestine conflict shows clearly biased in nature. The study was a statistical analysis of the AP newswire in the year 2004, looking comparatively at the numbers of Israeli and Palestinian deaths reported. In 2004 there were 141 reports of Israeli deaths in AP headlines and lead paragraphs, while in reality there were only 108 Israeli deaths. During this same period, 543 Palestinian deaths were reported by AP, while 821 Palestinians had actually been killed. The ratio of actual number of Israeli conflict deaths to Palestinian deaths in 2004 was 1:7, yet AP reported deaths of Israelis to Palestinians at a 2:1 ratio.
Monopoly of Press trust Of India:
While talking about Indian Media, there are big two agencies such as Press Trust Of India(PTI) and United News Of India (UNI),are owned by none other than owners of leading newspaper chains, who themselves employ highly qualified and foreign educated Managers to preserve and nurture their business. After UNI’s closure, PTI has the monopoly in India. On of the pitfall of PTI is they report just one angle of the story, the complete view of the story is not established and provided to the readers.
Media in Japan:
There are several pitfalls in Japan is is that the mainstream media fail to keep those in power accountable. They rarely take initiatives to investigate and reveal large scandals. But they spew out a flood of related information after a scandal is unearthed or if it causes a major political development. Thus they seldom become leaders and are usually followers.
As journalists curry favor with those in power, information is easily controlled by sources. Self-imposed restrictions abound in Japan. For example, before an official interview, reporters typically discuss with political or business leaders what can be discussed and what can’t.
The biased coverage by the Japanese media is nothing new. Another issue is male dominated filters. The dominance of the media by men is rarely criticized, however. Japan itself is a male-dominated society with thick glass ceilings for female employees in most corporations, which are invariably controlled by male bosses and managers.
Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool:
In order to counter attack such agencies. there are agencies called as “Non Aligned Agencies”, with the starting of the “Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool” also known as NAAP. The Pool was based on the principle of a free and balanced flow of objective and authentic information with a view to promoting co-operation, strengthening the unity of States members of the non-aligned movement and affirming their national cultural identities, in conformity with the principles of the new world information and communication order (NWICO).
The Pool also proposes to promote the circulation of information and economic and social development and on events in the non-aligned and developing countries. By disseminating objective and authentic information. the Pool seeks to offer an accurate picture of non-aligned and developing countries. The Pool also seeks to disseminate an authentic and objective image of the countries whose press agencies belong to it, wishing to promote understanding and co-operation.
Professionally, the Pool encourages its members to give professional and technical assistance, including appropriate staff training to agencies in the least-developed countries. The Pool also encourages institutes of journalism and journalism departments within universities and similar institutions to provide training facilities for the journalists and technicians of agencies in the least-developed countries.