United Press International

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United Press International was purchased in May 2000 by News World Communications, a Unification Church-controlled company. At the time of its purchase, NewsMax was "probably UPI's highest-profile client." [1]

United Press International was established in 1907 and gained a reputation as a pioneering global wire service featuring many of the big names of journalism including Walter Cronkite and Helen Thomas.

On its website UPI states that "our audience has shifted towards decision-makers in the business or policy communities who are reached through multiple distribution channels. We provide insightful and analytical stories that help these end-users make better business or policy decisions. Our journalists strive to give readers the knowledge they need to make decisions by talking to multiple sources and by offering several perspectives of an issue.'

"Distribution partners provide access to thousands of businesses, policy groups, and academic institutions worldwide. Content is also licensed directly to policy journals and specialty websites with dedicated audiences interested in in-depth content and analysis," the profile states.

UPI was at its peak in the 1950's when it had over 5,000 newspaper and broadcast clients. However, the advent of television and the demise of many afternoon newspapers precipitated its decline. In 1958 United Press, as it was then known, merged with International News Service owned by William Randolph Hearst. In 1982 it was sold once more by the Scripps Howard newspaper chain for $5 million and in the next decade sold another three times.

"Where it once boasted 1,500 reporters and 200 bureaus around the world, UPI now has a skeletal staff of 157, having lost most of its newspaper clients and sold key assets to AP and Reuters," The Observers's Melinda Wittstock wrote in May 2000.

After its Middle Eastern owners sold UPI to Moon's News World Communications, its respected White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, resigned after working for the organisation for 57 years. Wittstock reported that Arnaud de Borchgrave unsuccessfully persuaded Thomas to stay on. Thomas herself refused to comment on her resignation other than issuing a media statement wishing UPI and the new owners all the best.

Commenting on Thomas's resignation, the Washington Post's media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, described UPI's fall: "no newspaper I read carries UPI stories any more. It's just sad." [2]

According to the UPI website, in the fall of 2003 the company planned to introduce a "new Spanish language service that will focus on issues that affect the Hispanic community in the United States".


Contact information

United Press International World Headquarters
1133 19th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 1 202 898 8000
Fax: 1 202 898 8057
Web: http://www.upi.com/

UPI also has offices in Middlesex (UK), Tokyo (Japan), Santiago (Chile), Hong Kong, Beirut (Lebanon) and Seoul (South Korea).

External links