The upcoming closure of AAP is a sad moment for Australia, for the Australian media community, for the Australian public and for the international news agency community. The European Alliance of News Agencies expresses ist concern and sadness about the recent announcement by AAP. In a general media landscape already under pressure from a flood of informational noise posing as news, news agencies represent a beacon of trust for the media and, in extenso, for the public itself.
The upcoming closure of a trusted and well respected newswire such as AAP is a most unfortunate consequence of various factors, many of which are not related to traditional media itself, the most important being the fall of advertising revenues leading to restraining activities and even closure of the news agency’s traditional clients.
“It’s very sad for an excellent team that has worked enthusiastically to transform the AAP and has always been well known for their high journalistic standards”, said Peter Kropsch, EANA President and CEO of dpa.
“A punch for journalism itself. Shutting down a serious and responsible source of information like AAP, while we face the fake news challenge, appears to make our field weaker, but actually raises our awareness to work harder about content and market expansion.”, this is how the sad announcement was characterized by Armela Krasniqi, member of the EANA Board and Director General of ATA.
“Sad and alarming news. News agencies with their devotion to fact checking and balanced coverage are needed more, not less. AAP was/is a great service and employs great staff.”, said Jiri Majstr, member of the EANA Board and CEO of CTK
Clive Marshall, member of the EANA Board, CEO of PA Mediagroup and former CEO of AAP said the news was a blow to the media industry in Australia which was suffering the twin effects of collapsing advertising revenues and the market power of the big tech companies. “Since its inception 85 years ago AAP has established a reputation for editorial excellence, innovation, integrity and independence. This is terrible news for the talented and dedicated journalists who will lose their jobs and a bad day for media in Australia and for wider democractic accountability”, said the former CEO of AAP.
“The closure of AAP is a sad moment for all the media landscape of Australia, and also for the public, who will find it more difficult to reach information otherwise made available indirectly by the news agency. It is a sad moment for the international media community, but it should also raise awareness over the difficulties faced by national news agencies all over the world. It is a point of very necessary analysis and focus on strategies for the future”, said Alexandru Giboi, Secretary General of EANA.
According to information publicly available, the agency‘s majority shareholders, News Corp Australia and the Nine Entertainment Company, announced the closure due to a decline in the number of subscribers using AAP. The editorial operation will shut on 26 June, the Pagemasters production outsourcing division will cease operations on August 31, and the company’s media monitoring company Medianet will be sold.