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The European Pressphoto Agency B.V. (epa) was founded in 1985 by seven European national news agencies motivated by what they saw as a lack of alternatives to the British/American-centric picture services offered at the time.
Originally conceived as a vehicle to exchange pictures from the member agencies’ respective domestic services, it also included the world service of former shareholders and other European services and suppliers. As Eastern Europe opened up, epa expanded into a more independent entity. The opening of these new markets, along with the war in former Yugoslavia, led to epa employing its own photographers in those regions.
In early 2003 epa successfully made its service available to the worldwide market, beginning its global operations.
Today epa has nine European shareholders, all market leaders in their respective countries:
- Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) in Greece
- Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANP) in the Netherlands
- Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) in Italy
- Austria Presse Agentur (APA) in Austria
- Agencia EFE in Spain
- KEYSTONE-SDA-ATS AG in Switzerland
- Lusa – Agência de Notícias de Portugal in Portugal
- Magyar Távirati Iroda (MTI) in Hungary
- Polska Agencja Prasowa (pap) in Poland
Along with the coverage from its shareholder countries, epa has expanded its service to include its own coverage of North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It also relies on suppliers to cover Latin America (via Agencia EFE), the Nordic countries and Oceania.
Since 2015, the agency has been developing its video operations in association with its main shareholder Agencia EFE. epa launched the video service to global markets in October 2020 via its platform www.epa.eu
With headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, epa has a permanent network of over 130 visual journalists worldwide and an extensive list of regular stringers.
The photo and video production is supported by 50 editors in Bangkok, Frankfurt, Madrid, Cairo and Washington, while epa’s current Sales and Business Development team is spread across multiple locations in Frankfurt, Hamburg, The Hague, Paris, Belgrade and Cairo.
Supporting its direct sales efforts, epa has a number of strategic distribution partners across the world, including Shutterstock in North America, UK & Ireland, Agencia EFE in Latin America, Jiji Press in Japan, Imagine China & Xinhua in China, Yonhap in South Korea, Maxppp & PixPalace in France and All Over Press in Finland, among others.
As a worldwide visual content provider, our business is photo and video coverage of breaking news and newsworthy events from all around the globe. We deliver a professionally edited, timely selection of highly reliable and competitive pictures and video clips to our clients. Our coverage ranges from General News and Politics, Business and Sports to Arts, Culture and Entertainment.
When covering events, we strive to come up with new, original angles to offer our customers a comprehensive and creative product.
The recently launched epa video service perfectly complements its news photo service, as it comprises all classical news categories ranging from breaking news, politics, economy and finance, through to sports and entertainment. Up to 40 video clips per day are available round the clock.
Beyond our core service, we offer photo essays that take a deeper look at a variety of human interest topics, providing an insight into the world around us.
Unbiased Coverage and Accuracy of Information
epa is an independent news organization and its employees and collaborators are under the obligation not to allow governments, political parties or any ideological, financial or partisan group to influence their work.
When distributing our services we aim for the highest possible accuracy of information, speed of dissemination and objectivity.
We expect our photographers and contributors to follow the highest ethical guidelines as representatives of epa. We therefore expect them to follow the code of ethics put forward by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) as follows: https://nppa.org/nppa-code-ethics.
Respect of Intellectual Property and Protection of Our Sources
Our product is creative material produced by our employees and contributors and we are confronted with copyright questions and/or restrictions every day. We consider the protection of intellectual property a very important issue. We put a lot of effort into proper credit of our pictures and providing truthful information about our sources.
We also protect our copyrights and pursue infringement of our collection of news photography in cooperation with Visual Rights Group, a Belgium-based company specialized in the scanning and legal follow-up of illegal publications.
Enhancing Freedom of Press
We also operate in areas where there is limited or no freedom of press and sometimes our employees or contributors endanger themselves when providing critical coverage.
While we consider unbiased coverage from such areas a very important contribution to enhance freedom of press and ensure the observation of human and civil rights, we will always do our utmost to protect our sources against arbitrary and unjustified persecution or violence and we will support them if they are facing charges or other threats. This also includes not divulging their identities when and where necessary to protect them.
Employees' and Contributors' Safety First
We encourage our employees to always consider their personal safety as a first priority and not to take unreasonable risks in performing their professional duties for epa. Where and when necessary and possible, epa provides protective equipment to its journalists.
We expect and encourage our journalists to consult with their superiors if they have any concerns about the safety of an assignment. The final decision regarding whether or not to engage in a given assignment that they feel poses safety risks shall be their own. Not covering an event because of safety concerns is totally acceptable and would not lead to any kind of criticism or sanctions. Furthermore, the epa editorial management can cancel an assignment against the journalist’s will if it judges its own assessment of the risk is considered to be too optimistic.
Open and Prejudice-free Work Environment
As a global agency, epa works with people from many different countries and with varying ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds. At epa, we respect other cultures and we are free from prejudice when dealing with employees, suppliers and clients from other countries. We, therefore, put a lot of weight on securing equal employment opportunities regardless of nationality, gender, age, religion or race. We do not accept discrimination of any kind or harassment of employees and consequently sanction any incident that might be brought to our attention.
While as a press organization we have to follow a strict code of ethics, we still try to foster an open working environment that leaves room for creativity and ideas. We encourage our employees and contributors to come up with new ideas and take them into consideration. We encourage constructive criticism and solution-oriented proposals as a direct consequence of our trust in the professional talent and the creative intelligence of our employees and contributors.
Compliance with Laws, Rules & Regulations
At epa we deal with our employees’ personal data responsibly. We only use data of our employees, contributors and customers for the purposes they are collected for and do not publicize any information to third parties except in cases where this is explicitly required by law.
We ask our employees and contributors to use the company assets strictly in the best interest of epa, lawfully, and in respect of journalistic ethics.
Since its start in 1985, the European Pressphoto Agency has always been based on integrity, independence and responsibility.
It goes without saying that epa respects all applicable regulations in regard to safety at work.