PA is part of PA Group Limited, a private company with 27 shareholders, most of whom are national and regional newspaper publishers. The biggest shareholders are Associated Newspaper Holdings Limited, News International plc, Trinity Mirror plc and United Business Media plc. The group also encompasses Globelynx, which provides TV-ready remotely monitored camera systems for corporate clients to connect with TV news broadcasters in the UK and worldwide; TNR, a specialist communications consultancy; and Sticky Content, the UK's leading digital copywriting and content strategy agency.
The Agency delivers a continuous feed of content via a national newswire, including text, images, video and data into newsrooms around the country. This ranges from international sports data and entertainment guides, to TV listings and archived images.
For instance, PA Images has more than 12 million photographs available online and around 10 million in physical archives dating back 150 years.
PA has continually evolved to provide businesses, brands and public sector organisations with multimedia content. PA’s products and services span across sports data APIs, hosted live blogs, social media content, media training, page production services and TV listings.
PA’s customers are varied, consisting of non-media customers, business brands, commercial companies, Government and not-for-profit organisations.
Founded in 1868 by a group of provincial newspaper proprietors, the PA provides a London-based service of news-collecting and reporting from around the United Kingdom.
The news agency's founders sought to produce a more accurate and reliable alternative to the monopoly service of the telegraph companies. A committee appointed to make arrangements for the formation of the organisation said: "The Press Association is formed on the principle of co-operation and can never be worked for individual profit, or become exclusive in its character".
In January 1870 the agency moved from temporary offices into new headquarters at Wine Office Court, off Fleet Street. At 5am on Saturday 5 February 1870, its first press telegram was transmitted.
The first PA lobby correspondent in 1874 and the first sports editor in 1883. The agency's first Editor-in-Chief was Arthur Cranfield, appointed in 1926.
In 1995, PA moved from Fleet Street to Vauxhall Bridge Road, enabling the company to rapidly expand its output particularly in the sports and new media divisions.
The Press Association launched the Ananova news website in 2000. Ananova was then sold to Orange, and in December 2013, PA Group sold its weather business MeteoGroup, Europe's largest private sector weather company, to global growth investment firm General Atlantic.
In 2005, the company changed its name to PA Group to reflect its diverse and increasingly digital business activities.
In February 2015, PA announced the sale of its finance publications divisions, which included TelecomFinance and SatelliteFinance.
A full history of the Press Association was written by Chris Moncrieff, CBE, the former Political Editor of the Press Association in 2001 called "Living on a Deadline."
PA’s service supplies news, sport, entertainment and images stories, delivered in multi-format for various print and digital platforms. The editor-in-chief of PA Editorial is Pete Clifton, who was appointed in October 2014.
PA provides a stream of content on wires, delivers packages for use online, or designs and delivers ready-to-publish pages for use in print. This media content now includes video and interactive graphics.
• In sport, PA reports on the major events around the world including tennis, golf, rugby, horseracing and key football tournaments.
• PA’s entertainment journalists gather celebrity coverage, star interviews and independent reviews.
• Award winning images from PA Images provide photographic content for the news, sport and entertainment genres from around the world. Images are multi-format and available for multiple platforms, e.g. tablet, smartphone.
In March 2015, PA launched a training bursary scheme for Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) aspiring journalists to encourage a more ethnically and socially diverse newsroom. The scheme is in partnership with the Journalism Diversity Fund.
Around the Company's coverage of the UK General Election 2015, PA partnered with Google to provide election data on all of the parliamentary candidates standing around the country; and joined forces with Facebook to curate content from across the web for its UK Politics community page.
Press Association Training is Europe's biggest journalism and media training company. It was formed in 2006, when the Press Association acquired Trinity Mirror's training centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. The NCTJ course in Newcastle has been around since 1969.
The business already owned the former Westminster Press-owned Editorial Centre and merged the two businesses to become Press Association Training, and has a proud history of training many of the UK's leading journalists.
It offers courses in magazine journalism, sports, news and features, and in 2013 PA Training acquired PMA Media Training; the magazine industry's leading training organisation.
In 2014, PA's journalism training centre in Newcastle was named by the NCTJ as the best in Britain.
In March 2015, PA training created an online learning course so that journalists can learn about and test their knowledge of the Editors' Code of Practice. Press Association Training developed the course to meet the requirements of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), which adopted the code previously overseen by the Press Complaints Commission.
TNR is the specialist communications consultancy of the Press Association. Offering creative PR services from a journalistic perspective, it provides the ability to commission PA videographers, photographers and trainers.
Globelynx was founded in 2001 and is part of PA Group. Globelynx connects, via its managed fibre optic network, a growing list of corporate clients to TV news broadcasters in the UK and worldwide. It provides TVready remotely monitored, broadcast-quality purpose built camera systems.
Sticky Content is a digital copywriting agency based in London, specialising in copy for brands. In October 2013, PA acquired an 80% shareholding in the company, and they moved into the Vauxhall Bridge Road offices in November 2013.
Board of directors
- Murdoch MacLennan (Chairman, PA Group)
- Clive Marshall (Chief Executive, PA Group)
- Tony Watson (Managing Director, Press Association)
- Andrew Dowsett, (Chief Operating Officer, PA Group)
- Dame Helen Alexander (Chairman, UBM plc; the Port of London Authority; and Incisive Media)
- Geraldine Allinson (Chairman, KM Group)
- Dominic Fitzpatrick (Managing Director, The Irish News)
- Ed Ethelston (Chief Financial Officer, PA Group)
- Simon Fox (Chief Executive, Trinity Mirror)
- Kevin Beatty (Chief Executive, DMG Media Limited)
- Mike Darcey (Chief Executive, News UK)
- Adrian Jeakings (Chief Executive, Archant)
- Daily Mail and General Trust
- News International
- United Business Media plc
- Trinity Mirror plc
- Guardian Media Group
- The Telegraph Group
- Johnston Press
- DC Thomson
- Midland News Association
- Thomas Crosbie & Co
- Sweney, Mark; Ben Dowell (14 June 2012). "PA Group records 85% increase in profits and boosts chief executive's pay". The Guardian.
- Burrell, Ian (28 February 2011). "Ian Burrell: Agency hatched in Victorian cab has evolved for 21st-century". The Independent.
- Staff, Telegraph (16 December 2013). "PA sells weather business MeteoGroup for £160m". The Telegraph.
- "Press Assoc sells finance division". The Daily Telegraph. 6 February 2015.
- Turvill, William (28 October 2014). "Former BBC News website editor Pete Clifton named new Press Association editor-in-chief ahead of Jonathan Grun departure". The Guardian.
- Staff, Guardian (11 March 2015). "Press awards: Everyday Sexism founder wins Georgina Henry prize". The Guardian.
- Lambourne, Helen (31 March 2015). "Press Association launches newsroom diversity bid". Hold The Front Page.
- Linford, Paul (20 April 2015). "Press Association to provide election data feed to Google". Hold The Front Page.
- Woods, Ben (31 March 2015). "Facebook partners with the Press Association for its curated Election 2015 content". The Next Web.
- Greenslade, Roy (25 March 2015). "PA creates online course to teach journalists about the editors' code". The Guardian.