The different formats of AFP dispatches

AFP plays a key role in gathering and disseminating information from various sources. In addition to photos, videos, graphics and videography, it also produces news texts.



An alert signals a significant development in a top story or other major breaking news for a regional or international audience. Should be at most 55 characters in English to conform with the formats for push notifications on mobile devices and social networks, public screens, SMS alerts and TV news tickers..



We do not issue long lists of dry dates that are unlikely to engage a reader, and rather pull out only the turning points in a story, listing them under catchy subtitles or as bullet-point entries. Chronos rarely run over 500 words and can be as short as 200 words.



Typically gives facts on key aspects of a broader story, eg Five Things to Know or What We Know About. Can also eg provide background on the world’s biggest earthquakes or the most deadly train crashes, to put events in context. Concise and punchy, usually bullet-point or similar format.



This tag designates stories focused on debunking misinformation, propaganda and partisanship where facts are often obscured by claims and counter-claims which need to be dissected.



Focus stories typically dig deeper into a particular aspect of mainstream news coverage, or simply highlight an interesting story which is neither breaking news not timeless analysis. Focus reporting will usually involve some on the ground reporting and combine with images. Length usually 600 - 700 words.



A story rapidly adding any breaking news details and concise background after an alert-urgent series. Aim is to file within 10 minutes of alert. Sometimes followed by 2ndlead if appropriate, but more typically left as is, and folded into a Wrap if necessary.  



This attribution is for a format that explains the main point in an agreement, dispute or speech.



Typically used eg to question an expert to explain an issue raised in a main story, or a public figure to answer questions in their own words, the format is typically introduced by a short presentation of the subject, followed by the Q and A, usually about 500-600 words.



An on-the-ground story recounting the colour, sounds, smells and atmosphere of a story’s location. Typically with quotes from ordinary people. Whether about the horror or a battlefield or the joy of victory, it should evoke feelings as much as relate facts, while weaving in context needed to fully understand the story.



An urgent is a two-paragraph story which we aim to move within five minutes of the alert. It can also comprise information from more than one alert, and include a quote and the context needed to fully understand the significance of the breaking news.



A Wrap is the trunk story which draws together all strands of coverage of a significant event, or ongoing major news, including for example from multiple datelines, with reactions, background etc. After significant breaking news the aim is to update the Wrap with a minimum of 400 words within 20-30 minutes. Usually 600 to 800 words for an exceptional top world headline story.