Getting The News: The AP At Work (1967)

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[instrumental trumpet music] Some people spend a lot of time getting the news.

Other people spend a lot of time getting itto them.

No matter how far you go to get the news… The Associated Press -better known as AP -hasprobably gone a lot further.

To Vietnam, for instance.

A napalm strike in the heart of the jungleis 12,000 miles from New York City… But Peter Arnett, Saigon correspondent forThe Associated Press is there… Along with photographer Horst Faas, also anAP man.

Their job is to spot the story and get thenews.

Halfway around the world and back to New Yorkheadquarters, so that 8,000 members and subscribers of this immense organization can get the storyto you.

Actually, for Peter and Horst, both PulitzerPrize winners for their work in Vietnam, the story begins in the 30 man Saigon Bureau ofThe Associated Press.

A check on the Assignment Board tells of theday's missions.

And Horst prepares for the pictures.

As well as the mud.

Peter Arnett confirms their destination onthe map at briefing headquarters, and the two men are off.

They follow a long tradition of AP war coverage.

In 1876, part-time correspondent Mark Kelloggrode with General Custer into the battle of the Little Big Horn.

And died in the massacre.

In Vietnam, two AP men have been killed andnine wounded in the past two years alone.

Peter Arnett is a newsman, but he carriesa camera on most missions.

According to Horst Faas: "I cannot think ofany correspondent who worked for The AP in Vietnam without a camera around his neck.

And every photographer, day in and out, triesto bring news items along from his field trips.

" The strike comes quickly.

Back in the Saigon Bureau, News Editor BobTuckman takes down Peter's story over the telephone.

Correspondent Ed White, in charge of the SaigonBureau, locates the date line on the map, with his colleagues, then edits the copy.

And teletype operators begin to transmit thestory by wire.

Then Horst Faas returns from the battle area,he goes over the negatives of his film.

As does Photo Editor John Nance.

Dark-room technicians turn the negatives intoprints -either color or black and white.

And Editor Nance checks the schedule to havethem transmitted.

He'll send a courier with photo prints tothe local telegraph office.

Where pictures are radioed from Saigon.

Through the Tokyo telegraph office.

To The Associated Press office in Tokyo, wherea photo editor checks prints.

And sends them off to San Francisco.

From there they are sent through a monitoringdevice to New York.

In New York City, at The Associated PressBuilding -headquarters for the entire network -the picture winds up at the fourth floor.

Where a caption writer may be set to workjust 30 minutes after the picture left Saigon.

In another corner of this vast newsroom, headsof news departments are already meeting to discuss Peter Arnett's story along with othersbeing covered at the moment and developing situations.

While they meet, a microphone connects themto AP news executives in Washington and Chicago.

When foreign desk editors have checked thestory, they prepare to send it out to the four corners of the globe.

Copy is sent by teletype machines, mannedby skilled operators.

The operator strikes the letter keys as hewould a typewriter.

Thus producing a punched paper, or tape.

Which feeds into a transmitter and sends signalsalong the circuit.

The signals activate keys on receivers allalong that particular circuit.

Causing them to print out the story, letterby letter, for editors all over the world.

Some newspapers also receive a special tapealong with printed copies of each story.

This is called automatic typesetting tape.

When the tape is fed into linecasting machinesat newspaper offices.

Stories are automatically set into type.

Moreover, the galley of type that the printerpulls out is automatically set in lines of equal width–justified, it's called.

Computers do the job here, and from thesegalleys it's just a short step to newsprint.

And Peter Arnett's by-line.

Meanwhile, back at the photo desk in New York,the wirephoto operator receives the incoming picture.

And clamps it to a cylinder.

As the cylinder revolves under a tiny beamof light.

Signals are sent along a circuit and recordedon special photographic paper at the receiving end in bureaus and newspaper offices.

When the transmission is finished, the pictureis automatically developed, dried and dropped into a tray.

Total time: less than 9 minutes.

Wirephoto has been transmitting AssociatedPress pictures since 1935.

Since the explosion of the Hindenburg.

And the most famous picture from World WarII.

A few years later, the Berlin wall.

1963: death by fire for a South VietnameseBuddhist.

November, 1963: history in Dallas.

Today, AP pictures are also transmitted incolor–either by wire or by mail.

That's how Horst Faas caught the napalm strike.

And how you got the news.

There's one more way that The Associated Pressgets the news to you.

At the broadcast news department in New York.

Incoming teletypes record news from all overthe world.

These get turned into hourly news summariesfor some 2,900 radio and television members near and far.

Even as far as Nome, Alaska, where the dialectis Eskimo.

You see, even though The Associated Pressdoesn't print its own stories for the public.

You don't have to wade through wire copy.

Or wrap yourself in wirephotos to see whatThe Associated Press has to say.

You can read it in the newspaper.

Or catch it on television.

Or hear it wherever you are.

RADIO VOICE: "And now the latest news fromthe wires of The Associated Press.

" Of course, New York and Saigon aren't theonly Associated Press Bureaus.

Besides member newspapers -who contributea great deal of their own news to the wires -AP staffers work from bureaus all over theworld.

And whether someone's going up into space.

Or coming down to earth.

Or whether there's a crisis at CheckpointCharlie.

Or an interview in Mexico.

Or a fire next door, the speed and the coverageare just the same: so fast, that a bulletin can go around the world in a minute; so well-linked.

That what happens in India today.

Can turn up tomorrow in your local paper.

Whatever the hour, wherever the country, TheAssociated Press can cover it.

It's the largest news cooperative in the world,tracing its history back to 1848.

Since then, the newsgathering traditions haveremained.

The cooperative expanded.

Today, in the United States alone, more than110 Associated Press Bureaus are located in all 50 states.

The Washington Bureau, with 150 men and women,ranks first in size outside of New York headquarters.

President Johnson is usually the top story–and The Associated Press has been covering Presidents for a long time.

Back in 1865, Washington Correspondent LawrenceGobright was at Ford's Theatre just minutes after President Lincoln was shot.

His lead is a classic in brief journalism:"The President was shot in a theatre tonight and perhaps mortally wounded.

" Today, President Johnson's every activitymay be covered by AP's Frank Cormier, with a question at a press conference.

Or by columnist James Marlow, with a newsanalysis for the paper.

Senate activities are the province of JackBell, veteran newsman who has headed the AP's large Senate staff for 28 years.

Jack Bell writes his stories from The AssociatedPress booth in the Senate press gallery.

Then gives them to a teletype operator rightin the booth.

The operator transmits the story directlyto The Associated Press Washington office.

Where an editor checks the copy.

As the story moves out on the wire to AP members,it's given a final reading by Washington News Editor Marvin Arrowsmith.

A copy of the story reaches New York at thesame time as it reaches members.

At the General news desk, editors check thestory for fairness and accuracy.

Then send it to the A wire –prime news distributioncircuit in this country for national and international news.

The A wire operates around the clock.

Its editor is in charge of pressing the buttonsthat tell which stories should move.

and when.

So that you can get Jack Bell's story rightaway.

Of course, you're not the only one gettingAP news.

Wires from The Associated Press reach 900million people in more than 100 countries through 8,500 newspapers, radio and televisionstations.

From the World Services Desk in New York,manned by News Editor Webb McKinley, news from all over the world is distributedto Associated Press subscribers outside the United States.

In simultaneous transmission, a story willmove to Europe, Africa and Asia–always in English.

News moves in Spanish, too, from the LatinAmerican desk, also in New York.

What else goes on at New York headquarters? Financial and business news, as well as up-to-the-minutestock market prices tabulated by computer.

And there are specialists.

Experts in thefield, like Alton Blakeslee, dean of AP science writers.

Daily columnist Hal Boyle, who picked up aPulitzer Prize for his frontline coverage of world War II.

AP men have won a total of 21 Pulitzers.

And there's Irving Desfor, camera columnist,trying out a new technique.

His column is one of many provided by TheAssociated Press on such topics as cooking, stamps, home building and women's news.

News-in-depth is the speciality of the NewsfeaturesDepartment.

Their by-lines are famous: Sid Moody, JohnWheeler, Bernie Gavzer, Jules Loh.

Special Correspondent Saul Pett, whose featurestories -like one on The Credibility Gap.

Get big display in newspapers.

The Associated Press is a cooperative -thatmeans it's owned by its members and that it makes no profit.

Membership meets annually in New York to hearreports and discuss operations.

Members also elect the Board of Directors.

18 men who serve without pay and meet threetimes a year in New York to review all world-wide operations.

The Board elects the President.

Right now it's Paul Miller currently Presidentof Gannett Newspapers.

The Board also appoints a General Managerand gives him authority to run the operation.

Since 1962 it's been former war correspondentWes Gallagher.

These are some of the people at the top.

People in charge of the AP staffers, who inturn are in charge of getting the news.

And getting it to you.

Mark Twain put it this way: "There are onlytwo forces that can carry light to all corners of the globe –the sun in heaven and The Associated Press down here.

".

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