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news agency

News Transmission

From 1915 until the 1940s, news agencies in the United States transmitted most copy over telephone wires to teletypewriters in newspaper offices. The late 1940s, however, brought the introduction of Teletypesetter machines, which allowed the stories from the agencies, in the form of perforated paper tape, to be fed into typesetting, or linotype, machines, without the use of human operators. In using Teletypesetters to save labor, publishers ceded to the agencies some of their editing prerogative, thereby standardizing usage and writing style in newspaper stories.

Newspapers moved from linotype to photocomposition in the late 1960s to 1970s. Information is now transmitted by satellite service or the Internet, and newspapers reconstruct the information in their own format. Most news agencies also offer their clients photographs, news analyses, and special features; for radio and television stations they transmit news-broadcast scripts, video, and programming. Since the advent of computer technology, many news services have become available on line, and their products are also available for mobile phones and other devices.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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