The history of FPA at a Glance
The Foreign Press Association in Denmark (FPA), also known as Den Udenlandske Presseforening (DUP), was founded in April 1935 by a handful of Copenhagen journalists with correspondance to foreign media.
Back then, Scandinavia and the Baltic region were covered from Copenhagen which was described as "a kind of North Cape for the European telex network with the technical centre in Berlin."
But already from the early 1900s there has been a steady flow of news from Denmark to other countries. One of the first Danish journalists to correspond to newspapers abroad may have been A. Kamp. In the early 1900s, he wrote for "foreign magazines" while at the same time working for Møns Dagblad and later Vendsyssel Tidende, Silkeborg Avis, Riget og Hovedstaden.
In 1908, Politiken was hit by strikes. On Saturday, 15 August 1908 it stated in a special edition of newspaper that the strike would end. And, Politiken added, foreign nations had followed the industrial dispute. Page 3 of the special edition said that Norwegian and Swedish papers were “bringing long telegrams of the situation." And German, English and French newspapers also had reports on the dispute. Before World War I, Ritzau was the main provider of Danish news to other countries through cooperation with international new agencies.
Many years later, the Foreign Press Association was founded.
Over the years, the association has evolved into a busy Tower of Babel, from which a steady stream of news is produced in many different languages - Spanish, English, German, Estonian, Serbo-Croatian, French, Turkish, Arabic, Finnish, Basque, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Icelandic, etc.
Today, members of the association are foreign journalists working for news agencies, newspapers, radio and TV stations, magazines, photo agencies, etc. Most of our members are all-round journalists, others are specialized in financial news, for example. Some cover only Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, others cover the entire Nordic region - with or without the Baltics - from their Danish lookout.
The big news agencies - Reuters, Associated Press (AP), Agence France-Presse (AFP), Deutsche Presse Agentur, Bloombergs, AFX -- have their own offices, while the Nordic news agencies - TT, NTB, and FNB / STT - have a common correspondent with his/her office at Ritzau.
A group of our members have their office in the International Press Centre, others have an office at home but use IPC’s facilities. The IPC is also a busy workplace for Danish and foreign press at large international events in Copenhagen.
Jan M. Olsen
Chairman of FPA 1997 - 2002