News agencies were created to provide newspapers with information about a wide variety of news events happening around the world. Initially the agencies were meant to provide the news items only to newspapers, but with the passage of time the rapidly developing modern mediums such as radio, television and Internet too adapted the services of news agencies.
Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, and changing its name in 1944, Agence France-Presse (AFP) is the world's oldest news agency, and is the third largest news agency in the modern world after the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters.
Founded in 1846, Associated Press was founded in New York in the U.S. as a not-for-profit news agency. Associated Press was challenged by the 1907 creation of United Press Associations by E.W. Scripps and the International News Service in 1909 by William Randolph Hearst. United Press absorbed INS to form United Press International in 1958.
In 1851, Reuters was founded in England and is now the second largest news agency in the world with over 2,000 offices across the globe.
With the advent of communism in Russia, Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was founded in 1925.
Xinhua was later founded as Red China News Services in the Chinese Soviet Republic.
Political change in the Third World resulted in a new wave of information dissemination and a series of news agencies were born out of it. These agencies later formed their own Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool (NANAP), which served as a premiere information service in the Third World.
EFE is a Spanish news agency, it is the biggest in Spanish language, and is the fourth largest worldwide, it was founded in 1939.
Below is the list of the principal news agencies.