The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) is country’s premier news agency with a charter to provide accurate, objective and uninterrupted flow of news to the people. The wire service is at the forefront in timely informing the people of the happenings around, building Pakistan’s narrative and portraying its true image globally.
The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) has come a long way since its inception in 1947. The APP as it stands now began its life in 1905 as Associated Press of India in the united India. Its operations were taken over by the Reuters news agency of the United Kingdom in 1919.
Following the creation of Pakistan in August 1947 the offices of the news agency within Pakistan went into a private hand and were renamed Associated Press of Pakistan. Owing to financial and administrative issues, the APP was taken over by the Government through an Ordinance on 15th June 1961; with an objective “to ensure free and efficient flow of news to the people through an independent and efficient news service.” APP got converted into a Corporation on October 19, 2002 through an Ordinance.
Making a humble beginning from dingy small buildings at Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi with the reporters using bulky typewriters, whose sound of the carriage return still sounds music to the old hands, and noisy tele-printers churning out yards of punched paper tape, the APP over the years has evolved into a modern news organization.
Instead of churning out news in dull and drab plain English text, the APP today with its dedicated in-house software development team releases its multi-lingual news directly on to the computer screens of editors on their news desks, across the country and abroad.
The reporters file their news items through; laptops, mobile phones etc. using a secure link and a specially developed News Processing System. The APP now provides Multilingual News Service in English, Urdu, Sindhi, Siraiki, Pushto, Arabic, Balochi and Brahvi, besides the photo and the recently launched Video News Service.
Headquartered at the Capital Islamabad, the Associated Press of Pakistan has bureaus at Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and Gilgit. On a smaller scale it has Stations at Larkana, Muzaffarbad, Sargodha, Abbottabad, Sialkot, Bahawalpur and Sukkur.
For its international coverage the APP has Foreign Correspondents based at Washington, London, New Delhi and Beijing, besides Stringers at the United Nations – New York, Brussels and Jeddah who contribute towards promoting country’s image and highlight its stance on national and regional issues in true perspective.
For domestic news the APP has over 108 Correspondents at District and Tehsil levels. The APP with its Charter for provision of an uninterrupted flow of news to the people avails its
professional freedom through a team of around 500 highly qualified, competent editorial staff which remains committed to excellent journalistic traditions.
The APP website is also under regular review to update changing trends and to keep it vibrant by providing multi-lingual news reports, photos and VNS footage.
The news agency launched its Video News Service in October 2007 for visual coverage. It produces documentaries on diverse subjects and distributes news footage and documentaries to news channels. It provides feed through FTP, DVs and DVDs.
The APP added Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) vehicle, Earth station and latest editing equipment for beaming live coverage of important events besides launching test run of the APP Web TV.
Over the years, despite swift competition, decline in news paper reading trend and rise of the citizen journalists, where every person carrying a smart phone captures events and shares it through text, photo and video reports on social media; facebook, twitter, the APP manages to capture prominent space in the national and regional dailies.
The number of News Reports Released to the national media daily has recorded significant improvement over the years. So far over 50 million news stories have been released to its subscribers in English, Urdu, Pushto, Sindhi, Arabic, Siraiki and Balochi languages besides through its Photo and VNS services. Besides on-spot coverage of news items, features and analytic reporting, the APP also extensively monitors major local and foreign news channels and news papers. It has its own dedicated Monitoring Section that simultaneously monitors more than a dozen news channels.
The APP Reporters after gruelling training in diverse fields of journalism hone their professional skills and report on economy, with exclusive pieces on culture, social issues, sports reports, environmental topics apart from specialized coverage of the Parliamentary proceedings and diplomatic activities.
The APP Global looks after the working of the foreign correspondents. APP has News Exchange Agreements with 40 foreign News Agencies under which bouquet of important text, photo and visual news services are exchanged daily. Around 17 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with other international news agencies are in the pipeline.
APP website serves as an archive of transmitted news and is frequented by thousands, from within the country and abroad. The APP Android app helps mobile users get access to latest news feed of the wire service.
The APP’s Arabic language service has seen a positive feedback from the media in the Middle-East and is getting good display in Arabic newspapers. The APP Social Media Section regularly updates its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Its future plans include launch of news services in Kashmiri, Chinese and Persian languages, Digital News Display Screens, new Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with other international news agencies. APP plans to further expand its on-job training and capacity building of journalists to raise professional standards and cope with the challenges of a digital world.
With experienced professional hands and young blood, APP is well-positioned to make bold forays on professional horizons.