AP:  National news agency Australian Associated Press said Tuesday it was closing after 85 years, blaming a decline in subscribers and free distribution of news content on digital platforms.
 “The saddest day: AAP closes after 85 years of excellence in journalism. The AAP family will be sorely missed,” AAP Editor-in-Chief Tony Gillies said in a tweet.  AAP’s more than 170 journalists will cease operations by June 26. Its Pagemasters editorial production service will also close at the end of August, the company said.
 “The unprecedented impact of the digital platforms that take other people’s content and distribute it for free has led to too many companies choosing to no longer use AAP’s professional service,” the company said in a statement. “We have reached the point where it is no longer viable to continue.”
Sydney-based AAP is renowned for its fair and impartial reporting as well as its extraordinary reach across rural and urban Australia.
The Australian Parliament applauded AAP for its contributions an hour after its demise was made public .
“When you have such an important institution such as AAP coming to an end, … that is a matter of real concern,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said, “Today is a tragedy for our democracy.”
“You will leave a massive void in terms of information coverage,” he added.