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Encyclopedia > Agence France Presse

Agence France-Presse (abbreviated AFP) is the oldest news agency in the world. It is also the largest French agency and the third largest news agency in the world.

It is based in Paris, with regional centres in Hong Kong, Nicosia and Montevideo and bureaux in 110 countries. It sends out news in French, English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

AFP was founded in 1835 by Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas.


AFP is a nonprofit corporation autonomous chartered under a specific 1957 law, operating commercially and independently of the French government. It is administered by a CEO and a board comprising of 15 members:

  • 8 representatives of the French press;
  • 2 representatives of the AFP personnel;
  • 2 representatives of the public services of radio and television;
  • 3 representatives from the public services subscribing to the agency (one named by the prime minister, another by the minister of finances, another by the Minister of foreign affairs).

The board elects the CEO for a renewable term of three years.

AFP also has a superior council charged with ensuring that the agency operates according to its statuses, which mandate absolute independence and neutrality.

The primary client of AFP is the French government, which purchases subscriptions for its various services. In practice, those subscriptions are somewhat a subsidy to AFP, which is insecure financially. AFP statutes prohibit direct government subsidies.

External links

  • Official home page (http://www.afp.com/)
  • Official history (http://www.afp.com/english/afp/?cat=history)



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