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Inter Press Service

Dahr Jamail, on his Al Jazeera and Inter Press Service News reports
Inter Press Service
Not-for-profit cooperative
Industry News media
Founded 1964 (1964)
Area served
Products Wire service
Website .net.ipsnewswww

Inter Press Service (IPS) is a global news agency. Its main focus is the production of independent news and analysis about events and processes affecting economic, social and political development. The agency largely covers news on the Global South, civil society, and globalization.


  • History 1
  • Approach 2
  • Legal status 3
  • Organizational structure 4
  • Services 5
  • IPS's role in the mediascape 6
  • Prominent IPS journalists 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Inter Press Service was set up in 1964 as a non-profit international cooperative of journalists. Its founders were the Italian journalist Roberto Savio and the Argentine political scientist Pablo Piacentini. Initially, the primary objective of IPS was to fill the information gap between Europe and Latin America after the political turbulence following the Cuban revolution of 1959 (Giffard in Salwen and Garrison, 1991).[1]

Later, the network expanded to include all continents, beginning with a Latin American base in Costa Rica in 1982,[1] and extended its editorial focus. In 1994, IPS changed its legal status to that of a "public-benefit organization for development cooperation".

In 1996 IPS had permanent offices and correspondents in 41 countries, covering 108 nations. It had as subscribers over 600 print media, around 80 news agencies and database services, and 65 broadcast media, in addition to over 500 NGOs and institutions.[2]


IPS’s stated aims are to give prominence to the voices of marginalized and vulnerable people and groups, report from the perspectives of developing countries, and to reflect the views of civil society. The mainstreaming of gender in reporting and the assessment of the impacts of globalization are a priority.

In order to reach this aim, IPS does not lay claim to providing "spot news", but instead to producing well-researched features and reports that give background information, and covering processes rather than events.

IPS may be unique in its concentration on developing countries and the strong relationships with civil society. For this reason, IPS has even been termed the probably "largest and most credible of all 'alternatives' in the world of news agencies" (Boyd-Barrett and Rantanen, 1998: 174/5),[3] being the "first and only independent and professional news agency which provides on a daily basis information with a Third World focus and point of view" (Boyd-Barrett and Thussu, 1992: 94; cf. Giffard, 1998: 191; Fenby, 1986).

Despite all the laudable aims, it is, however, important to see that IPS has never possessed the resources to be a major player in the international media landscape. Because of its focus on longer background pieces instead of concise news, it has at most a marginal status as news provider for mainstream media in developed countries.

Legal status

IPS is registered as an international .

Organizational structure

Five editorial desks coordinate the network of journalists around the world: Montevideo (regional bureau for Latin America), Berlin-London (Europe and the Mediterranean), Bangkok (Asia and the Pacific), New York (North America and the Caribbean) and Johannesburg (Africa). Most of IPS's journalists and editors are native to the country or region in which they are working.

IPS receives funding from various sources: through its subscribers and media clients, as beneficiary of multilateral and national development cooperation programmes, and as recipient of project financing from


Traditional and new media as well as movements.

IPS's role in the mediascape

The actual role of IPS in the international

In recent cases, IPS exercised direct influence on the mainstream media agenda:

Even if IPS's direct outreach is rather limited, it plays an important role in providing background news to journalists, decision makers from governments and UN institutions, and civil society organizations.

However, it seems that IPS has played a significant part in shaping the modern media and their news. Some of its structural innovations have been adopted by other international media organizations, most notably regarding the employment of local journalists for the coverage of developing countries. Furthermore, IPS claims to have led the way to a particular style of news (by demonstrating that in-depth analysis is as much part of the news as immediate coverage of the "facts") and to raising awareness about less "newsworthy" topics, such as poverty or the environment.

  • IPS's limited financial resources;
  • its inability to cover all countries with an appropriate number of correspondents (in many countries, IPS only employs stringers);
  • because of the two aforementioned limitations, IPS can only provide a scattered coverage about regions and issues, and is often unable to produce timely news and follow-ups;
  • IPS's focus on background news "is not particularly attractive to market-driven commercial media" (Giffard, 1998: 200).

Impact is limited by factors such as:


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