Most people today don't event know what a wire service is, but we get most of our news from wire services.
For more than a century, newspapers have pooled their resources to pay for reporters around the world, who originally sent their dispatches over telephone and telegraph wires.
Howard Dicus spent 13 years at UPI, the first wire service to write news for broadcasters, and the first to record reports for broadcast. UPI still exists but is no longer a full wire service.
Reuters and Bloomberg are wire services, but work mainly for financial clients.
The big remaining U.S. wire service is The Associated Press, owned collectively by a thousand newspapers, where it gets almost half its money from TV broadcasters, and a quarter from newspapers. Just 5% from radio stations.
The more newspapers implode, the more broadcasters economize, the more important becomes the newsgathering done by wire services.
Because the biggest problem in the media, no matter what you've heard, is the sheer lack of time and staff to research all the stories that need looking into.
That is crisis at a glance.
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