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How News Agencies Produce News

Barbara Czarniawska

Have you ever wondered how organizations decide which news is important? This insightful book portrays in detail everyday work in three news agencies: Swedish TT, Italian ANSA and the worldwide Reuters. This unique study is about organizing rather than journalism, revealing two accelerating phenomena: cybernization (machines play a more and more central role in news production) and cyborgization (people rely more and more on machines). Barbara Czarniawska reveals that technological developments lead to many unexpected consequences and complications.
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Chapter 4: ANSA, or Meetings and Teamwork

Barbara Czarniawska


1 Even if narrated by individual persons, the collective character of the news production team became obvious in the previous chapter. In this chapter, I report my direct observation of various types of collective actions. Perhaps not surprisingly, my observations show that a collective cognition is both guided by, and results in, common sense – in the positive meaning of the word. WHAT IS ANSA? TT is a national agency, dependent upon other news agencies for its international news. ANSA, on the other hand, is an international agency, with correspondents in many countries. In order to cover countries where there are no ANSA correspondents, the Italian agency has a collaboration contract with Agence France-Presse and Reuters (ANSA receives the Reuters newswire) and a contract with Sky. There are also some less formalized contacts with Associated Press. ANSA is a cooperative of 36 members – mostly the main national newspapers – and has 22 bureaus in Italy and 79 in 74 other countries. Box 4.1 displays ANSA’s website presentation2. As my research focused on ANSA’s headquarters in Rome and one local bureau, I mention other parts of the company only briefly. Apart from newswires in Italian (general newswire, regional, and specialized newswires), ANSA publishes ANSA English Corporate Service, ANSA English Media Service, Spanish Newswire, and Portuguese Newswire. There is also a new wire called ANSAMed (Mediterranean) that transmits in Italian, English, and Arabic. This newswire was originally situated in 1 2 Many thanks to all my interlocutors at ANSA, and to the people who...

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