That is the subtitle, the title of this very interesting book is News from Germany and the author is Heidi J.S. Tworek. Here are a few things I learned:
1. “News agencies became the central firms collecting international news from the mid-nineteenth century. The “Big Three” news agencies were all created in this period: Agence Havas in the early 1830s, Telgraphisches Bureau (Wolff) in 1849, and Reuters Telegram Company in 1851.”
2. There were very high fixed costs in telegraphic news gathering, and the telegraph was essential to being a major international news service. Those costs included financing a network of correspondents abroad and the expense of sending telegrams.
3. The three companies colluded, in part to lower the cost of news collection, and maintained a relatively stable cartel of sorts, running from 1870 up through the outbreak of World War II. World War I was a hiatus but not a break in the basic arrangement. The AP was added to the cartel in 1893.
4. These news agencies, being well-identified and somewhat monopolistic, were susceptible to political control, especially from Germany. But note that the British censored information coming from the Boer War.
5. The post WWII era was an exception, and throughout most of modern history it has been difficult to turn a profit by selling news coverage.