The Associated Press (AP) is an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City that operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. The AP is owned by its contributing newspapers and radio and television stations in the United States, all of which contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists. Most of the AP staff are union members and are represented by the Newspaper Guild, which operates under the Communications Workers of America, which operates under the AFL–CIO.
As of 2007, news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The photograph library of the AP consists of over 10 million images. The AP operates 243 news bureaus in 120 countries. It also operates the AP Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice hourly for broadcast and satellite radio and television stations. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members of the cooperative. As part of their cooperative agreement with the AP, most member news organizations grant automatic permission for the AP to distribute their local news reports. The AP employs the "inverted pyramid" formula for writing that enables the news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication area without losing the story's essentials.
Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States' primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.