Federal News Service was founded in 1985 in response to an urgent and growing need for immediate verbatim transcripts of government briefings, speeches, press conferences and other newsmaker events to the many domestic and international news bureaus in Washington, D. C. Quickly, FNS assumed a broader mandate and began to transcribe Congressional hearings, National Press Club speeches, and significant events such as conferences at Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment and broadcast interviews with opinion leaders.
Government agencies, news media bureaus, public affairs representatives and other Washington opinion makers quickly grew to rely on FNS as their Window on Washington. Shortly thereafter, FNS introduced its Washington Daybook, a schedule of events occurring in Washington today, tomorrow and the next week or more.
FNS became nationally prominent with its transcript coverage of the Iran-Contra hearings, which became an “instant” paperback book distributed throughout bookstores across the U.S. The demand for verbatim transcripts of more and more congressional hearings increased, and FNS now produces transcripts of most major hearings to its large database of clients within 24 hours – and many are completed the day the hearing occurs!
FNS covered campaign speeches, the key speeches at the nominating conventions and the candidate debates in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Presidential elections. The historic Economic Conference conducted by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in 1992 was transcribed verbatim and produced in hardback.
FNS set up its first international office in Moscow in 1991 to offer foreign embassies, the news media, and foreign business interests, verbatim transcript services similar to those offered by FNS in the U.S. A Middle East bureau was established in Jerusalem in 2002 to provide transcripts in English of press conferences, briefings, statements and news interviews of Israeli and Middle Eastern political leaders and spokespersons, major political interviews on Israeli morning radio broadcasts of Reshet Bet (Network B) and Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).
The FNS Translation Department started in Moscow, translating just Russian to English and vice versa. Today, the department offers translation in many languages including Ukrainian, Georgian, Polish, Korean, Slovak, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, and of course French, German and Spanish.
Recognizing that our clients needed immediate notification of fast breaking news stories, FNS has added two complementary media relations services to satisfy this need – a national Broadcast News Monitoring Service and an electronic media monitoring service called NewsClips Online. The FNS Broadcast News Monitoring Service can provide clients with a daily report on what stories were broadcast about them on network, local and cable news shows in more than 100 markets, and can often provide the actual videotape news story in a matter of hours. FNS NewsClips Online scans and indexes more than 5,000 media websites daily to provide our clients with stories about them and their interests.
The FNS customer base, which was originally composed of a small number of news media companies, now includes most major U.S. and foreign newspapers and news services, world-wide broadcast media, U.S. government agencies, foreign embassies, U.S. embassies worldwide, corporations, lobbyists, universities and associations.
Cheryl A. Reagan, the President of Federal News Service, believes that there are substantial opportunities for more company growth through the development of new products and services and the establishment of new offices internationally. The FNS transcribers are credited and acknowledged by the media and other clients for their expert transcribing abilities and speed. The full time technology professionals manage all technology issues, develop FNS software programs, and provide customer service. The administrative, sales, and production departments consist of many long-time dedicated employees working towards future global expansion to benefit all customers.