United Press International has a storied history. Throughout its 100 years UPI has continually maintained its independence surviving profound financial challenges, while leading journalistically and technologically in the media industry.

E.W. Scripps founded United Press Association in 1907 overturning the Associated Press' worldwide monopolistic grip on U.S. news dissemination. Imbued with a "we try harder" attitude, Unipressers took on the better resourced AP with verve and ingenuity. The rivalry produced a classic business competition and generated tales that have become the stuff of journalistic legend. By 1921, UP eroded AP's hold on the European newspaper market and began servicing newspapers in Cologne, Frankfurt and Vienna. In 1922, UP began servicing newspapers on the Asian mainland. By breaking the stronghold of the AP newspaper cooperative, UP led the media industry in covering world news independently making news copy available for purchase to any newspaper throughout the world.

UP has, likewise, stood at the cutting edge of newsgathering practices. UP established new rules of style and method. It was the first service to emphasize the byline of the correspondent. It introduced the big-name interview and developed the feature story as an important part of the daily news report. In 1935, UP became the first major American news service to supply news to radio stations. Ultimately, UP became the first North American news agency to provide compelling and comprehensive wire copy to newspapers in Europe, South America and the Far East.

United Press grew at a steady rate following World War II. In 1952, UP acquired Acme News pictures and, for the first time, offered competitive news and news pictures services. In 1956, UP's Russell Jones captured the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Hungarian revolution. United Press merged in 1958 with William Randolph Hearst's International News Service and was renamed United Press International. Five years later, Merriman Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Three UPI photographers subsequently won Pulitzers for coverage of the Vietnam War. During World War II, newspapers turned to UP to get unbiased, comprehensive news and not reports with an Allied bias.

Classical eras give way to the post-classical, however, and we have all learnt how new technology and shifting markets change business conditions. UPI learnt this harsh lesson earlier than most when the rise of television killed our major market, the afternoon newspaper. What followed was a painful period in our history as successive owners struggled to come to terms with this shift and find a new role for the company.

Following numerous ownership changes including a bankruptcy, the current owner, News World Communications acquired UPI making it a part of its portfolio of media companies. Since 2003, UPI has reversed decades of a declining revenue trend and regained its strong reputation as a source for international intelligence, Arabic language and Spanish language wire-copy. Likewise, the Company has continued its award winning journalistic practices. In 2004 UPI's Mark Benjamin received both a Clapper Award as well as the American Legion's top journalism award for his story series uncovering the plight of sick US soldiers returning from Iraq, only to wait indefinitely for proper attention and treatment.

Today, side by side with many of the oldest and emerging media giants, UPI faces a new technological frontier with a passion to preserve the best of journalistic practices while engaging a citizenry of lay reporters, photographers, and videographers, and a plethora of sources to publish and receive information.