The Canadian Press (often abbreviated as CP), known in French as La Presse Canadienne (PC), is a national news agency headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It was established in 1917 as a vehicle to permit Canadian newspapers of the day to exchange their news and information. For most of its history, The Canadian Press has been a private, not-for-profit cooperative, owned and operated by its member newspapers. In mid-2010, however, it announced plans to become a for-profit business owned by three media companies once certain conditions are met.
Over the years, The Canadian Press and its affiliates have adapted to reflect changes in the media industry, technological change and the growing appetite 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.
Created by an act of Parliament and by means of an annual financial grant from the government from 1917 to 1924, the news co-operative was formed to help newspapers cover and distribute news across the vast country. Previously, Canada had regional news associations but no national wire service.
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. With the arrival of television and radio, The Canadian Press created a subsidiary, Broadcast News, to deliver text specifically written for broadcasters, as well as the production of newscasts and audio clips. The Canadian Press operates in both English and French, Canada's official languages; the French Service was established in 1951 and is named La Presse Canadienne (abbreviated as PC). The Canadian Press has a staff of more than 250 journalists in its bureaus across Canada, as well as a correspondent in Washington, D.C. The news agency operated a bureau in London, England, until 2004, and has had reporters covering the Canadian mission in Afghanistan since 2002.
Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. is the entity which "will take over the operations of the Canadian Press" according to a November 26, 2010 article in the Toronto Star. The new board met for the first time on Monday, November 29, 2010 to review the operations of the Canadian Press.
In addition to providing news to newspapers, TV and radio, The Canadian Press provides online news and photos. 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.
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 the exclusive distributor of The Canadian Press in the United States and worldwide.
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 an alliance with The Canadian Press since 2004, Marketwire is the only news release distributor with exclusive access to send press releases and PR photos on behalf of clients over the same Canadian Press Wire Network used to deliver Canadian Press news copy directly into the editorial systems of more than 600 newspapers, radio and TV stations and websites across Canada.
In July 2010, a tentative deal was struck between The Canadian Press's 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-private business will allow 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. Canadian Press had a serious pension shortfall, which was, in 2010, valued at $34.4 million.