The Press Association (PA) is a multimedia news agency, operating in the UK and Ireland.
At 5am on Saturday 5th February 1870, the Press Association sent its first wire message to inform the mass public that Admiral Sir H. Leekes was dangerously ill. In 1981, it released the first photo of Princess Diana in her wedding dress. In 2016, it continues to break hundreds of stories over ‘the wires’ on a daily basis, which are used by newspapers on a national and regional level.
Located near Victoria tube station in South-West London, The Press Association (PA) is a multimedia news agency, operating in the UK and Ireland. It’s a corporation that sells news - PA reporters file hundreds of stories everyday, providing objective, breaking content across their streams, which is picked up by paying news organisations and used to add to and support their own work. According to The Guardian, the parent company of the Press Association reported an increase in operating profits of a quarter to £9.8m in 2013.
Newspaper owners founded the association in 1968, with an aim to provide accurate and reliable news that they believed was not offered by other wire services. According to the committee at the time: “The Press Association is formed on the principle of co-operation and can never be worked for individual profit, or become exclusive in its character". The current editor-in-chief of the editorial department is Pete Clifton, who took up the role in October 2014.
The corporation has 27 shareholders, consisting of newspaper publishers such as News International and Trinity Mirror. Its content appears in many major publications such as The Daily Mail, Metro and Grazia. It also has links to non-media organisations such as the government, non-for-profit organisations and big business brands.
It’s world-renowned for its multimedia content: award-winning photos, videos and infographics. There are over 12 million photographs available online for a range of different media platforms. From the Mayor of London playing street rugby in Tokyo to Madonna’s tumble down the stairs at the 2015 Brit Awards, PA photography captures show-stopping moments that have featured on many front pages in the UK press.
The Press Association is also a sports specialist, covering sporting major events throughout the year and providing data and results live from the action. It was the official host news agency of the London 2012 Olympics and is set to report live from Rio in the 2016 Olympics, filing data, editorial, video and live content to its partners for use in their publications. One of the main attractions of news agencies is that they are an easy way for journalists to access breaking news, without stepping foot outside of their own newsrooms.
The offices are also well known for their prestigious Press Association Training centre, which was founded in 2006. It’s the biggest journalism training programme in Europe, offering postgraduate and bespoke courses in journalism, PR and communications. The agency recently launched a training bursary scheme with the Journalism Diversity Fund for Black and Asian Minority Ethnic journalism students, to encourage ethnic diversity in the profession.