November 2009
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by Pierre Louette, AFP chief executive officer

A time for alliances
We are coming to the end of a year of multiple crises. We had the financial crisis, of course, which disrupted the global economy, halted growth and pushed up unemployment. But 2009 was also the year that threw into question the entire economic model of the media, notably the written press. Both standard and classified adverts are becoming scarcer just as readers shaken by the crisis hesitate to buy their favourite papers. The Internet is gaining users but each one generates just one-tenth of the revenue generated by a reader or viewer of the traditional media. Beyond these financial losses, perhaps the gravest threat is that posed to the value of news itself.

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AFP Mobile News, already one of the best

New from AFP Mobile. AFP Mobile News, now available for BlackBerry, brings you everything from the news of the world to the news of the weird. Completely customize the media-rich app to get the news you want whenever you want it. AFP Mobile News has been recognized by BlackBerry as being one of the best apps of 2009 and has been selected as one of 12 finalists in the BlackBerry Developer Challenge. As a part of AFP’s mobile strategy to provide mobile solutions and content to media organizations, the dynamic application is available for client customization and re-branding. Get the whole world in your hands for a one-time download fee of $2.99.

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News agencies seek new forms of added value

AFP hosted the twice-a-year meeting of Minds International Association in Paris from October 8-9. Minds International is a network of research and development centres for 17 European and North American news agencies (including the Associated Press) which promotes the sharing of best practices, business models, new technology, platforms, products and services.The media crisis has yielded a consensus among news agencies that one of their priorities should be to provide new forms of added value in both old and new media. This includes enriching the way news is covered at local, national and global levels, and enriching the technological offer such as through meta-data and new platforms.

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Winter Olympics -4 months --- World Cup -8 months

AFP is preparing full multimedia coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, being held February 12-28 in Vancouver, Canada. AFP will provide extensive coverage with more than 70 journalists, video reporters, photographers and technicians on the ground in Canada. AFP clients will have at their disposal a range of information products live from the snowy slopes of Whistler and across all the competition sites. Text and picture coverage will be augmented by a video pack of more than 80 reports offered for web sites around the world, as well as animated graphics presenting each of the Olympic sports. A totally innovative AFP content manager will enable web clients to customise and publish their own multimedia content modules on the event.

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AFP-APA technological cooperation

AFP has joined forces with the Austrian news agency APA ( to develop an Event Manager, a multilingual application for the editorial management of news events. It is one of the cornerstones of AFP's Rich Media News Agency Project (, an ambitious project to transform the agency and sharpen its multimedia edge. Designed to optimise the agency 's organisational capacities, the Event Manager is a tool which will link each of AFP's media production disciplines (text, photo, graphics, video), enabling all output elements created, wherever their geographical origin and whatever the media format, to be catalogued and directly associated with a root news event.

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AFP partners TARA Oceans expedition

Agence France-Presse has decided to support Tara Oceans in an unprecedented media partnership after an approach by the international scientific expedition. "The issue here is universal and the adventure singular," said AFP chairman Pierre Louette. "The Tara expeditions are oriented towards scientific research linked to the impact of climate warming to the future of humanity.""It involves informing as many people as possible to see what ails our oceans and what, nevertheless, still leaves them so rich, and to promote awareness of our natural environment," said Louette.

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Winner of the first AFP-Peter Mackler scholarship

Charlotte Turner, a post-graduate student in broadcast journalism from Cardiff University in Wales, won the first AFP-Peter Mackler Scholarship in July. She began a one-year contract with AFP based in London on September 7 and is now working mostly on the multimedia desk but also with AFPTV and the text desk. The scholarship was launched this year to honour the commitment to journalism training of veteran AFP journalist Peter Mackler, who died suddenly in June 2008. Students applying for the award came from nine different nationalities studying at half-a-dozen British journalism colleges. .

Press Releases

Joe Klamar , AFP photographer

October 20
Czech Press Photo: AFP's Joe Klamar wins Picture of the Year >>

October 10
Bayeux-Calvados awards two AFP war correspondents >>

October 2
Wife of jailed Sri Lankan reporter accepts Peter Mackler Award >>

>> Other releases...

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