Every day The Associated Press produces the most comprehensive news report in the world: 2,000 text stories, more than 3,000 photos and 150 video news stories. And every day AP delivers. In 2016, AP went even further.

Wherever you saw 2016 U.S. election results the source was the same – AP. We counted more than 5,000 national, state and local races on election night. We called more than 4,000 races. With reporters across the country, AP covered the election with depth unmatched anywhere else.

AP’s coverage began well before Election Day. We anticipated and explored the differences in American attitudes in our Divided America series. AP explored the divisions in communities and politics and the ways in which Americans bridged those divides. We focused on social issues, race, gender and the economy. AP gathered and assembled extensive amounts of localized data so our customers could produce their own stories, building on AP’s foundational material.

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was an expansive undertaking. AP ran more than 900 Olympic stories in the six months leading up to the games. During the games AP covered every event and provided 3,000 photos daily, 1,200 text stories, 250 hours of live video and 330 edited video stories.

In addition to these major events, AP continued to deliver on an aggressive news agenda:

AP continued to make advancements in automated story development. In 2016, minor league baseball coverage was added to AP’s automated reporting, adding breadth to our sports coverage. In business news, the true impact of AP’s expanded automated coverage of corporate earnings reports was documented by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington. They found evidence that AP’s coverage increased the trading volume and improved the liquidity of the stocks covered in the stories. Newly-covered, often smaller companies saw trading volumes increase by an average of 38% in the initial quarters following the AP reports.

In June 2016, President Barack Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 into law.

AP continued to lead in issues related to free expression and access to public records and information by initiating or joining 29 court access matters in 2016. AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser testified in 2015 before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of changes in FOIA, designed to improve access to government records.

In June 2016, President Barack Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 into law.

Last year we earned our 52nd Pulitzer Prize and AP’s first in the public service category for the 18-month investigation that exposed slavery in the Southeast Asia fishing industry and tracked the slave-caught seafood to American markets. More than 2,000 slaves were freed as a result of AP’s reporting.

We made advancements on the business side as well:

  • We acquired the historic British Movietone film archive. This valuable archive will supplement AP’s existing film archive and create a one-stop shop for our customers.
  • We struck a photo distribution deal with Shutterstock, which will greatly improve the distribution of AP photos, particularly in commercial markets.
  • We made key venture investments to improve our access to companies with innovative technology that could extend the reach of AP’s journalism. These included an investment in SAM Desk, a platform that provides end-to-end user-generated content management, and an investment in Social Starts, a fund that focuses exclusively on mobile and social media startups. A second investment in social media tracking company NewsWhip solidified AP’s interest in technology capable of tracking the popularity of news stories on social networks.

AP continues to maintain a strong financial position, more than doubling cash profits, or EBITDA, so far this decade. As a not-for-profit cooperative, all of those profits are reinvested in the business. Revenue declined slightly from 2015 as a result of pricing discounts offered to newspaper customers in exchange for longer term contracts. AP ended 2016 with no debt.

AP is positioned for success as we set an ambitious news agenda in 2017:

  • We will strengthen accountability journalism in key Washington beats, including intelligence, terrorism and the Department of Justice.
  • We will look to expand our automated story capabilities for broader coverage of other sports.
  • We will continue to increase user-generated content authentication in the field and integrate it into our report.

AP will continue to inform the world accurately with fact-based, objective journalism, using our unparalleled reach for the greatest impact possible.

On the business side, in 2017, our focus remains on developing services and products that meet the changing needs of AP customers. The multimedia portal, AP Newsroom, will roll out to more customers worldwide as we pursue a truly integrated story-centric approach for content distribution. We will also develop an editorial planning tool for cross-format communications and advanced news coverage planning with our customers.

AP has a decades-long fact-checking practice and in 2017, we will expand that practice and work with Facebook to help identify and debunk trending stories with misleading or false content. AP is pleased to take a role guiding people to legitimate news.

AP will continue to inform the world accurately with fact-based, objective journalism, using our unparalleled reach for the greatest impact possible. This has been our mission for 171 years, and our 172nd year will be no different.

Gary Pruitt
President and CEO

Steven Swartz

2016 board members of The Associated Press.