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Trusted, Accurate,

From Our CEO

As AAP turns 80, it’s an appropriate time to formalise AAP’s long standing culture and purpose.

Our Vision, Purpose and Principles are three statements that speak to the heart of AAP.

The first is clear: it’s why we have existed for the past 80 years. Our journalism is at the core of what we do and we want to ensure we have the best possible environment to continue that great work.

Our vision, therefore, is how we will maintain the purpose. We do so by being active in a broad range of media endeavours that support the Newswire and keep it independent of any external influence.

And that means every person at AAP is vital to providing news and information to the Australian community.

I also believe strongly in the four key principles listed here. AAP has a long history of integrity and trust and by adhering to an ethical and team approach, we will continue in that manner.

After five years as CEO, I am proud of the wonderful work we do.

While the media world will undoubtedly continue to face changes and challenges, I trust AAP will continue to play an important role for another 80 years.

CEO Bruce Davidson

Bruce Davidson, CEO    


An 80 Year History

Breaking news
in Australia
since 1935

In Australia, the wire is Australian Associated Press. It was first established so the country’s metropolitan newspapers could share the high expense of bringing international news into the country.

That was 1935. Now around the clock, every day, AAP dispatches hundreds of thousands of words to the media.

From humble beginnings to the diversified media solutions offered today, AAP has always been at the forefront of delivering impartial, independent and accurate news to the nation’s leading media outlets. It is one of only a handful of news agencies worldwide not funded or influenced by its government.

Today, AAP is still the leading source of breaking news for Australia but has expanded to provide some of the most innovative and effective multimedia, publishing and business solutions available.

With over 800 employees around the world, AAP’s mission stands strong; To provide the Australian media, private and public sector with a cost-effective, unbiased, reliable, comprehensive news and information resource.

The purest form
of journalism

Through the
eyes of an editor

By John Coomber, Training Editor at AAP

When I walked through the doors of AAP’s old office in Wynyard House, Sydney, in July 1972 two things struck me.

First was the airport-like roar of 120 teleprinters going flat out in a dingy, low-ceilinged room - my hearing has never quite recovered.

Second was the fug of cigarette smoke emanating from every desk - my lungs have just about recovered. (Disclaimer: It wasn’t all passive smoking - it seemed the only way to get through overnight shifts).

It was inconceivable then, but here I am at AAP for its 80th birthday, and it occurs to me that I have been part of the furniture for more than half the company’s life.

Why, I hear you ask.

It’s easy. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather work.

On that long-ago day, Editor Lyall Rowe (91 and still going strong) instilled in me the eight-word credo that AAP carries to this day:

"Speed is essential, but accuracy is more important".

In 1935 the company founders set it down in more courtly language. AAP was established “to supply news without any tendency toward or opportunity for the exercise of political partisanship or bias”.

It is the purest form of journalism.

We have no political axe to grind, nor advertisers to please. We stand on our own feet without support or influence from government. News value is paramount, and successive boards, chief executives and editors have guarded AAP’s independence and reporting integrity above all else.

I know this from personal experience. I have never seen any AAP journalist asked to write or withhold a story for commercial or political reasons. In my eight years as editor I did at times experience editorial pressure, occasionally even from our shareholders, but with the unquestioning support of the executive, we stuck to our principles.

We can’t afford to do otherwise.

We have only our reputation to trade on, and as the digital revolution changes almost everything else, it is more important than ever.

There is another side to AAP’s news integrity.

It tends to attract people for whom those ideals are more important than getting your head on the telly or seeing your name up in lights.

And from that springs a culture of teamwork that makes it such an appealing place to work.

As I tell each year’s newly minted batch of cadets and trainees, you don’t come here to get rich or famous (though some have managed it) but you’ll have a great time, get plenty of opportunities, and at night be able to put your head on the pillow knowing you’ve done something worthwhile that society needs perhaps more than it realises.

So as we pass this milestone we deserve to pause and give ourselves a little pat on the back.

And then go back to doing what we’ve always done.

* John Coomber has been a reporter, sub-editor, sportswriter, foreign correspondent, national correspondent, deputy news editor and editor. He has been training editor since 2009.