International News in the Age of Empire

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines how news agencies and newspapers created a global system of international news production and distribution during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In Britain, leading London newspapers and Reuters led this development. Reuters dominated the British market for the sale of news from abroad and exercised control over the sale of news from the British Isles throughout the world. Reuters’ dominance in these markets—a product of institutional arrangements in Britain—underwrote its early global expansion. Reuters and the London press utilized their close relationships with the British government to expand across Africa and other parts of the Empire. In the US, the Associated Press emerged as the dominant international news provider. The AP, unlike Reuters, benefited from a large and wealthy domestic market, which enabled it to expand abroad. The high costs of reporting and distributing news internationally over telegraph favored oligopoly and cooperation over competition.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaking News
Subtitle of host publicationThe Political Economy of Journalism in Britain and America from the Glorious Revolution to the Internet
EditorsRichard R. John, Jonathan Silberstein-Loeb
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199676187, 9780198820659
StatePublished - Nov 30 2015


  • news agencies
  • Reuters
  • Associated Press
  • telegraph
  • empire
  • Africa


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