Mass Communication: Principles and Practices

By Mary B. Cassata; Molefi K. Asante | Go to book overview

Chapter 6 Mass Communication: National and International Perspectives

Media of communication . . . are vast social metaphors that not only transmit information but determine what is knowledge, that not only orient us to the world but tell us what kind of world exists, that not only excite and delight our sense, but by altering the ratio of sensory equipment which we use actually change our character. James W. Carey on Marshall McLuhan


International News-Gathering Agencies

There are six major international news-gathering and -disseminating agencies: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP), Reuters, Telegrafnoie Agenstvo Sovetskavo Soiuza (Soviet Telegraph Agency or TASS), United Press International (UPI), and Hsinhua (New China News Agency). A number of limited agencies exist in various other parts of the world. These include agencies such as Novosti, a Soviet feature service, Prensa Latina, the main Cuban news agency, and Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), the West German agency. The six major international news-gathering agencies dominate the dissemination of news items. Minor national agencies supplement the services of the international giants. During the 1976 UNESCO meeting on mass media in Nairobi, Kenya, several Third World delegations expressed interest in forming a Third World news agency that does not have a colonial past. Alfred Opubor of Nigeria and Paul Ansah of Ghana called a meeting in 1977 to discuss formulation of an African agency.

The development of the major news-gathering agencies began in the nineteenth century at a time when British colonial power was at its

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