Newswire service, the Australian Associated Press is close to collapse with the loss of all of its editorial jobs, as it comes under pressure from its shareholders.
The AAP is owned by the very media companies of which it services, including News Corp, Nine, Seven West Media and Australian Community Media, however the agency’s board has cited tough trading conditions, financial challenges and a heavily competitive advertising market.
The major media groups in Australia inject substantial amounts of money into the agency, with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that News Corp pump around $10 million AUS and Nine contributing around $5 million AUS annually.
The Chief Executive of the Australian Associated Press, Bruce Davidson has reportedly been locked in talks with private investors and groups, hoping to offload some of its assets.
The Sydney Morning Herald also had sight of an email from Davidson to staff in which they report that he played down the possibiliy of closure. He said; “The speculation today is just that, and I ask that you rely on information provided by AAP management in regard to this matter. Please be assured that I and the senior management team at AAP will communicate any change on the status of AAP if and when that is appropriate.”
Despite the positivity from Davidson however, the Herald also cited industry sources as being considerably more pessimistic, with some predicting an imminent closure.
The Australian Associated Press was founded 85 years ago by Keith Murdoch, with the view to provide impartial, independent journalism, available to whoever needed it.