Stephen H. Miller: Kent Cooper – News Visionary A portrait written by Stephan H. Miller

Introduction: When Kent Cooper became general manager of The Associated Press (AP) in 1925, the AP was 83 years old and already the world’s oldest news agency. When he retired 23 years later, he had transformed not only the AP but also reshaped postwar international journalism itself. More than any other single person, Kent Cooper was responsible for the now-familiar free flow of news between countries and continents, as free from improper influence and special interests as Professional journalists can make it.

Soon after he joined the AP in 1910, Cooper became a critic of the cartel which in those years governed international news coverage. The news agencies Reuters of England, Havas of France and Wolff of Germany had divided the world into relatively exclusive spheres of influence. The AP itself participated in the System, receiving its foreign news from the cartel and paying for it with its American news and with money. …