Australia’s AAP news wire service has announced it is shutting down at the end of June after 85 years of supplying journalism for the newspapers, websites and broadcasers, both nationally and internationally.
In an AAP article, the organisation paraphrased CEO Bruce Davidson as saying the business was not viable any longer given the prevalence of free online content.
The AAP service is owned by a collective of Australian publishers and broadcasters, namely Nine, News Corp Australia, The West Australian and Australian Community Media.
AAP reported it has more than 180 employees "spread across every Australian state and territory" with bureaus in New Zealand, Los Angeles and London. It also employs about 100 freelance photographers. A company statement said some of those employees may find new opportunities at shareholder companies as they reorganise how they fill the void of news services left by AAP.
But AAP chairman Campbell Reid, a News Corp executive was quoted in the article criticising the inability of digital platforms for pay for quality reporting.
“It is a great loss that professional and researched information provided by AAP is being substituted with the un-researched and often inaccurate information that masquerades as real news on the digital platforms,” Reid told AAP.