INTRODUCTION AND POLICY STATEMENT
Associated Press Television News Limited is the UK subsidiary of The Associated Press, which has its head office in New York (collectively "AP"). AP is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business.
No organization in the world does more to advance the power of facts, and our commitment to ensuring equality throughout our organisation is fundamental to this. AP recognises the legal and moral importance of combating slavery in all its forms across the globe, and is fully committed to ensuring that our operations are run responsibly. Modern slavery is not only a serious crime, but also violates fundamental human rights in the name of personal and/or commercial gain. This translates into a zero-tolerance approach to any form of slavery both within the AP structure itself and through all secondary means of news collation.
This is the fifth Modern Slavery Statement of Associated Press Television News Limited published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This updated statement includes the steps AP has taken in the last year to counter modern slavery in its organisation and supply chains and sets out the steps AP will be taking in the next 12 to 18 months to continue to remain compliant. In addition, this statement will cover AP's ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated risks to the health and safety of AP's teams around the world.
ABOUT THE AP
To provide AP services to its customers, AP works alongside a great number of third parties to ensure the news AP reports is accurate and unbiased. Often, AP must report from the most inaccessible and hostile places on earth in order to bring current events to the attention of the world.
AP strives to have a staff who represents the world and communities that it covers. To facilitate this, AP has a network of staff in more than 250 locations with a variety of employee types, from full-time office-based staff to freelancers based where news stories are breaking around the world. To be able to report news on such an international scale, AP's workforce is inherently dynamic, with ever changing suppliers and partners. The result of AP's structure means that an estimated half of the world's population see AP content on any given day.
AP BUSINESS STRUCTURE
AP has a wide ranging and dynamic business structure with worldwide news gathering, production and distribution at its core. In addition to multi-format content licensing, AP offers a range of services to allow companies across all industries to deliver engaging stories to their target audiences. These services can be broken down into the following areas:
- Live and Location Services – providing access to full production and editorial solutions via an unrivalled global network of studios and temporary facilities.
- AP Content Services – AP's content marketing and advertising service collaborating with brands and advertisers worldwide to create and distribute authentic, impactful and informative content.
- AP Productions – a division of AP that develops a variety of media projects in the form of original short films, documentaries, mini-series, podcasts and books.
- Planning and Media Tools – newsgathering and planning tools to support newsroom activity across the world, including AP Playbook, AP Stylebook, AP Daybooks, AP Planner and Metadata tagging.
- AP ENPS News Production System – AP's multimedia content production system utilised by broadcast and digital newsrooms worldwide.
Supporting AP's revenue sources are its operational and corporate divisions, located at both AP's headquarters in New York, and at its local branches and bureaus around the world.
AP SUPPLY CHAINS
Owing to its global presence, AP is aware that there are places from which we report that may not take the same stance against slavery. Internally, AP is constantly evaluating the source of its content and how it is collected and communicated to ensure that the prevention of forced labour is at the forefront of AP's business structures and its ethos more generally.
AP's supply chains can be broken down as follows:
AP's news gathering supply chains are diverse and far reaching. However, it maintains stringent source checks even where the source supply chain becomes more complex. In addition to sources of news, AP's news gathering supply chains may include freelance journalists, UGC content providers, and specialist equipment suppliers.
Where news breaks, AP must react quickly and will often use information from ad hoc providers. AP ensures that where possible it knows the third parties it works with, avoids using anonymous sources and ensures adherence to AP's Statement of News Values and Principles (https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/). In situations where AP does not have an established relationship with the provider, AP will always use its best efforts to ensure that the information provided is done so freely, without duress and in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and all other modern slavery legislation.
Content Licensing and Distribution
For AP's content licensing and distribution operations, the supply chains include third party content licensing partners, broadcasting/transmission equipment suppliers and maintenance teams.
Location Services and Commercial Production
AP's location services and commercial production departments share similar supply chains to those just mentioned, with the addition of local facilities providers around the world, added equipment suppliers, transportation and additional maintenance support.
Software Tools and Corporate Support
AP's software tools and corporate functions rely on its technology partners to provide uninterrupted access to its networks, along with operational support and office maintenance needs.
AP COMPLIANCE POLICIES AND REPORTING MISCONDUCT
AP employees are encouraged to report any misconduct or unethical behaviour.
The AP Code of Business Conduct and Ethics reflects the AP's group commitment to conduct business in accordance with relevant legal and ethical standards. Where employees have questions about the code or have become aware of a possible policy violation, they are encouraged to immediately report their concerns.
Further, AP operates a confidential 'Integrity Hotline', which is accessible to employees, members, vendors and customers as "a confidential means to report on suspected violations of company policy, law, and/or other potential improper business conduct."
RISKS IDENTIFIED AND MONITORING AP's PROGRESS TO DATE
Over the past 12 months, AP has continued to engage with its third party suppliers and focus on areas of the supply chains that represent a potential modern slavery risk.
Below is a summary of the progress AP has made since the previous published Modern Slavery Statement on 30 September 2020:
|Steps Identified in 2020 Statement||Action Taken|
|Evaluate the emerging health and safety risks associated with Covid-19||AP continues to assess its global business practices in response to the increased risks to the wellbeing of those within the business and is committed to ensuring a safe working environment for all AP staff around the world. To facilitate this, AP's dedicated return to office committee have created a 'Return to Office Guide' for employees and regularly provide updates on any plans for returning to work in AP’s offices. AP is aware that abrupt changes to working patterns can impact individuals differently, therefore AP has committed to providing significant notice before any changes to working patterns are implemented. Resources on the pandemic remain available via the AP intranet site and regular webinars are held to support employees' well-being during this challenging time.|
|Review AP compliance policies, contracts in place with content partners and suppliers and the terms and conditions contained in supplier contracts.||AP continually reviews its policies to ensure they are compliant with all applicable legislation and up to date with leading market standards. Similarly, AP reviews and updates its content licensing terms and conditions on an annual basis, and where applicable engages with all partner due diligence requests.|
|Increase awareness of the issue of modern slavery amongst AP staff, including the development of further online sessions and FAQs available to all employees on the AP intranet site.||AP has developed FAQs to highlight the risks and recognise the signs of modern slavery. In addition, AP was pleased to promote the Global Investigative Journalism Network Webinar "Investigating Human Trafficking" in the AP event calendar for employees. The webinar was moderated by a member of the AP editorial team and focused on how to investigate the two main types of human trafficking, sex exploitation and labor abuse, and discuss the best ways to cooperate with civil society groups that offer protection to victims of trafficking and slavery.|
|Conduct additional compliance training.||AP’s compliance training documents are updated on an annual basis and provided to those involved in the internal processing of suppliers in high risk territories.|
|Carry out thorough due diligence reports for new and renewing suppliers.||AP continues to carry out regular due diligence reports on suppliers within its supply chain that represent a potential compliance risk.|
To allow AP to easily monitor the effectiveness of its actions taken so far and support its ongoing compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, AP is developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure its modern slavery commitments. Over the last 12 months, AP has recorded the following metrics in relation to its modern slavery monitoring:
|Number of incidents related to modern slavery that require remedial action.||0|
|Number of reports raised via the AP integrity hotline relating to a violation of the AP Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.||1|
|Number of reports raised via the AP integrity hotline relating to modern slavery concerns.||0|
AP is aware that each country around the world has been impacted by, and responded to, the Covid-19 pandemic differently. AP continues to maintain an active business continuity plan to maintain a continuous supply of content to its global customers and continue to engage with third parties within its supply chains. This has been done without compromising AP's standards and ensuring it continues to remain complaint with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
For support within the AP structure, AP has established a dedicated Covid-19 information and resource platform on the AP intranet site, featuring regularly updated guidance for employees and details of how to raise any questions or concerns regarding AP's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the next 12 to 18 months AP will:
- Continue to evaluate the emerging health and safety risks associated with Covid-19.
- Evaluate and update modern slavery training provided to staff across AP
- Conduct an internal audit of the supplier due diligence process to assess whether any updates or additional steps are needed for those identified as high risk in AP's supply chains.
- Develop additional KPIs to measure the effectiveness of AP's modern slavery regime and drive its modern slavery strategy forward.
This statement has been approved by the Directors of Associated Press Television News Limited.
ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION NEWS LTD
ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION NEWS LTD
Date: 30 September 2021