|Stephen Meurice, Editor-in-Chief|
Number of employees
The Canadian Press (CP; French: La Presse Canadienne, PC) is Canada's national news agency headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Established in 1917 as a vehicle for Canadian newspapers of the time to exchange news and information, the Canadian Press has been a private, not-for-profit cooperative, owned and operated by its member newspapers for most of its history. In mid-2010, however, it announced plans to become a for-profit business owned by three media companies once certain conditions were met.
Over the years, the Canadian Press and its affiliates have adapted to reflect changes in the media industry, including technological changes and the growing demand for rapid news updates. It currently offers a wide variety of text, audio, photographic, video and graphic content to websites, radio, television, and commercial clients in addition to newspapers and its long-standing ally, the Associated Press (AP), a global news service based in the United States.
Initially, Canada had only region-based news associations, lacking a national wire service. The Canadian Press was created by an act of Parliament as a news co-operative, with an annual government grant from 1917 to 1924, for the purpose of helping newspapers cover and distribute news across the country. Initially operating as a distribution network, its first editorial staff came on board during World War I to report on the efforts of Canadian soldiers overseas.
Playing an essential role in the development of Canadian identity, the Canadian Press is wholly dependent on leased telegraphic lines in order to send stories back and forth across the country to their vast amount of readers. With the arrival of radio & television, the Canadian Press created Broadcast News, a subsidiary that delivers text specifically written for broadcasters, as well as the production of newscasts and audio clips.
The Canadian Press operates in both English and French, the latter service being established in 1951 as La Presse Canadienne (PC). The news agency has a staff of more than 180 journalists in its bureaus across Canada, as well as a correspondent in Washington, DC. It had also operated a bureau in London, England, until 2004; has had reporters covering the Canadian mission in Afghanistan since 2002; and delivers news coverage to the West Indies. With its alliance through the Associated Press, there is now a worldwide exchange of news.
Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. is the entity that was to "take over the operations of the Canadian Press" according to a November 2010 article in the Toronto Star. The new board met for the first time on 29 November 2010 to review the operations of the Canadian Press. As of January 2020, Torstar, Globe and Mail and Montreal's La Presse continued to be the owners of The Canadian Press.
In addition to providing news to newspapers, TV and radio, the Canadian Press provides online news and photos. Now, almost every daily newspaper in Canada relies on the service brought forth by the Canadian Press. It introduced this online breaking news service in 1996 and now its multimedia content is published by most major Canadian news websites. The Canadian Press launched breaking news video in 2007, with clips produced specifically for websites and wireless services.
In September 2007, the Canadian Press launched a rebranding campaign in an effort to stay competitive, notably in the wake of the pullout by the CanWest Global's newspaper, television and online news outlets (see below). All of its services, including radio networks Broadcast News and Nouvelles télé-radio, were rolled into a single brand: The Canadian Press. The change marked the end of the familiar (CP) service logo.
The Canadian Press also operates the largest online editorial archive of news pictures shot by photojournalists. It was the first in Canada to develop this online archive in 1996 and now it is home to over two million digital images with hundreds of images added each day. These photos appear in newspapers, books and magazines, and online. In addition to news and information, The Canadian Press publishes the Stylebook and Caps and Spelling book, which are considered the chief style guides for Canadian journalists, public relations professionals, editors, and writers of all disciplines.
Through a longstanding partnership, the Canadian Press is the exclusive distributor of the Associated Press (AP) and Associated Press Television News (APTN) material in Canada. The AP is likewise the exclusive distributor of the Canadian Press in the United States and worldwide.
In July 2010, a tentative deal was struck between the Canadian Press' three largest stakeholders, CTVglobemedia, Torstar, and Gesca, to transform the newswire from a co-operative into a for-profit entity. On November 26, 2010, Torstar, The Globe and Mail, and Square Victoria Communications Group announced they have invested in a new for-profit entity, Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., to take over the operations of the Canadian Press. The change in the ownership structure from a non-profit co-operative to a for-profit private business allowed the company to cover its pension needs and take advantage of future business opportunities, Phillip Crawley, publisher of The Globe and Mail, said in an interview, November 26, 2010. The Canadian Press had a serious pension shortfall, which was, in 2010, valued at $34.4 million.