The Press Association and the end of journalism? – how national news agencies embrace convergence in the twenty-first Century

Paul Manning (University of Winchester, UK)

This paper focuses upon the strategies adopted by national (as distinct from international or global) news agencies, to adapt to the acceleration of technological convergence and the more intense pressures to commodify information, that characterise the early twenty-first century. Organisations such as Reuters began to develop strategies of diversification a decade ago and are now in strong global positions to exploit technologies of convergence to maximise the commodification of information across a variety of online markets. However, this paper will focus mainly upon the Press Association (PA) which has only adopted a strategy of diversification through the use of convergent technologies since the start of the new century. The paper will chart the changes adopted by the PA in the last decade, based around the development of the PA Group, including PA Sport, PA Entertainment, and PA Business, to sit alongside the PA news agency. The PA Group now sells a diverse range of products, all related to or spun off from the original core activity of wholesaling news copy and all based upon the exploitation of new convergent technologies. The paper will explore what the implications of such developments are both for the kinds of news produced and for the journalists working within such regimes of intensified information commodification.

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