The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) started its life in 1947 with the independence of Pakistan. Initially it was run through a Trust, but owing to financial bottlenecks, it was taken over by the Government through an Ordinance called; “Associated Press of Pakistan (taking over) Ordinance 1961”, on 15th June 1961, to put it on a sound financial footing.
The journalists were allowed to retain their independent status under this ordinance. They were not regarded as government or semi-government employees and were governed by Labour Laws, which also encompass Newspaper Industry in Pakistan.
APP was later converted into Corporation on October 19, 2002 through an Ordinance renaming it as Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APPC) and lending a status of semi government media government.
It is no longer administered by the labour laws. The rules of APPC are pending notification by the Establishment Division and it is administered through the Managing Director, appointed by the Government.
Notwithstanding its conversion into Corporation, the News Agency continues to enjoy and avail the professional freedom. APPC is country’s premier national news agency which comprises highly qualified and professionally competent editorial staffers.
APP remains committed to excellent journalistic traditions by objective and accurate reporting, observing code of ethics with regard to responsible journalism. A contradiction of an APP story is a rare phenomenon.
The News Agency is mandated to ensure coverage of all important developments and events sans any prejudice on diverse fronts within the country and abroad with objective professional approach.
Beginning its life in small buildings in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi with the reporters relying on bulky typewriters and noisy tele- printers, the APP over the years has grown into a state-of-the-art and modern news organization.
Computers have replaced typewriters and the Agency’s offices are connected through Local, and Wide Area Networks. From a transmission speed of 50 words per minute, it now provides news at a speed of 1200 WPM, most of which is directly fed into the computers of the subscribers simultaneously throughout Pakistan and overseas. Currently APP has its own buildings at Islamabad and Lahore.
The news agency is playing a leading role by supplying authentic and credible news to the print and electronic media round-the-clock. Around one thousand news, over two hundred pictures and clean feed of Video News Service (VNS) containing important events and developments are put on wire daily for onward consumption by the media subscribers.
The number of news reports, released to the National Media daily in English, Urdu, Sindhi and Pushto languages have recorded significant improvement with complete domination over all other news agencies in the country.
Print and pictorial news service of APP unabatedly wrest prominent space in the national and regional English, Urdu, Sindhi and Pushto papers. APP’s Special Correspondents, posted at key destinations abroad including Washington, New York, London, Beijing and New Delhi are making effective contribution towards promoting country’s image and stance on various national and regional issues in their true perspective.
With strong editorial network at the Headquarters, Provincial Bureaus, Stations and District Correspondents, the news agency is rendering important professional contribution to cater to the requirements of print, electronic and pictorial media in various fields.
Five new stations including Sialkot, Abbotabad, Sargodha, D.I.Khan and Bahawalpur have been set up by APP besides expanding the network of the District Correspondents to ensure extensive coverage of political, economic and social activities at the grassroots level.
Enjoying sizeable amount of freedom, APP is comprehensively and extensively covering all important developments and engagements of the ruling coalition as well as opposition political parties with unbiased approach. Objectivity and credibility of the news are the hallmark of the sound professional footing of the news agency.
The Charter of Functions is to:
– Ensure free and efficient flow of news to the people through print and electronic media including radio, television and newspapers as well as business and non-media subscribers for which they pay a regular monthly subscription to APP.
– Supply unbiased and reliable print and pictorial news service speedily and contribute features to national and international print and electronic news agencies, newspapers, radio and television networks with which it has entered into agreements.
– Transmit correct and reliable political, economic, financial and commercial news including national and international rates of commodities to its subscribers; expand and develop news service in the country ensuring high journalistic standards.
APP Video News Service, which was formally launched in October last year is well-positioned to cater to the needs of news channels. This is a major leap forward, expanding and enhancing the agency’s role in the national media by providing clean feed on major developments and important events to the electronic media organizations within the country and abroad.
The agency has transformed its website making it professionally more vibrant as important multi-lingual news reports, photos and VNS footage are promptly placed on it through fast updating mechanism.
The website, which serves as a reservoir of latest news as well as archive of transmitted news, is frequented by thousands of individuals and organizations, particularly Pakistani missions abroad, which is reflective of its professional significance.
Important news are also translated in Arabic language which are not only placed on the website, but also transmitted to the print and electronic media of the Arab World.
Another important feature of the APP professional working is extensive monitoring of major local and foreign news channels and the news based on this exercise capture tangible space in the newspapers on perennial basis.
APP has News Exchange Agreements with 37 Foreign News Agencies under which bouquet of important news is transmitted to them on daily basis with an aim to showcasing Pakistan’s point of view on regional and international affairs.
Sans any suspicion, APP is armed with new professional techniques and skills by making inroads in modern and contemporary regime of Information Technology to satiate the professional appetite of competitive media subscribers.
With experienced professional hands and young blood, APP is well-positioned to make bold forays on professional horizons in view of sea change in the country’s media.
Discarding the temptation of any complacency, professional strategy of APP News Service is revisited as and when required to withstand fast emerging professional challenges in the media sector.