Australian Associated Press (AAP)
Australian Associated Press (AAP)

After 85 years of service, Australia's national newswire Australian Associated Press (AAP) on Tuesday announced its closure, citing increasing free online content making the business unviable.

The newswire will draw the curtains at the end of June, while its subediting business Pagemasters will close at the end of August, the company's website said on Tuesday.

At least 180 jobs will be axed due to its closure.

AAP Chief Executive Bruce Davidson said it had been an "extremely difficult decision" to shut AAP, including the newswire service and sub-editing service Pagemasters.

He said the business was no longer viable in the face of increasing free online content.

However, some of the staff could be redeployed to News Corp and Nine news channel.

AAP chairman Campbell Reid described the newswire as Australian "journalism's first responder".

"It is a great loss that professional and researched information provided by AAP is being substituted with the un-researched and often inaccurate information that masquerades as real news on the digital platforms," Reid said.

Premier of Victoria state Daniel Andrews said the closure of the newswire company would hurt media diversity.

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