Agence France-Presse

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Agence France-Presse

legal form Public company
founding 1835
Seat Paris , FranceFranceFrance 
management Fabrice Fries
Number of employees 3,760
sales 300 million euros (2017)
Branch News agency

The French AFP ( Agence France-Presse ) is the oldest international news agency . Founded in Paris in 1835 by Charles-Louis Havas , it was first known as the "Agence des feuilles politiques, correspondence générale". It is now the third largest news agency in the world and, in addition to its headquarters in Paris, has offices and employees in 151 countries. It offers news in French, English, German, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. Every day AFP sends around 3200 articles, 2500 photos, 100 infographics and 150 video contributions worldwide.

In Germany, AFP operates a subsidiary GmbH, which is largely independent of the French headquarters and produces news for the German-speaking market in all major departments. Sport-Informations-Dienst has been a wholly-owned AFP subsidiary since 1998 .


It was renamed on August 20, 1944, the day of the liberation of Paris, when a group of journalists marched into the agency building on Place de la Bourse and sent the first text of the "Agence française de Presse" to the world. A month later it was named "Agence France-Presse".

Legal status

AFP headquarters on Place de la Bourse in Paris

In 1957, the AFP received a legal status that comes close to the public broadcasters in Germany . The board (“conseil d'administration”) consists of ten representatives from the media (eight from the print media and two from the radio), three representatives from the French government and two from AFP employees. The status enshrined in law is intended to guarantee independence from the state and private owners. Financially, however, there is a considerable dependence on the French state: 40 percent of AFP's income comes from subscriptions to state institutions.

AFP has around 1200 full-time journalists, including around 250 photographers, and more than 2000 freelance workers in 151 countries. This gives it one of the densest network of correspondents in the world.


AFP has been pursuing alleged copyright infringements in blogs and micro- website operators in Germany since at least 2009 in the form of mass warnings by the KSP law firm in Hamburg . The threat of drastic financial legal consequences and the threat of legal action are controversial. The claims for damages are based on hypothetical license fees in accordance with the remuneration rules of the DJV ( German Association of Journalists ). Numerous bloggers and micro-website operators feel massively financially threatened by the controversial legal debt collection commissioned by AFP and pay regardless of the legality of the claim, as they shy away from legal proceedings against the French agency.


AFP journalist Sardar Ahmad died in the attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul on March 20, 2014 . He was the head of the local AFP office. His wife and two of the three children did not survive the attack either.

Web links

Commons : Agence France-Presse  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence