Documents below include copies of actual dispatches (called “casts”) typed and signed by AP correspondents in Saigon. Hand delivered to the Saigon Post Office (PTT), they were sent by overseas telegraph cable at 20 cents a word (more if urgent) to AP offices in Tokyo or New York for editing, and then put on wire service teletype machine for distribution to the world, and a selection of published articles based on Saigon correspondents’ dispatches. Private cables reveal the tensions that could arise between the reporters in the field and their editors at home, as well as the humor. AP’s Malcolm Browne wrote a guide book for correspondents arriving in Saigon — its many practical tips explained not only how to cultivate local sources and cut through red tape, but helped to save lives.
(With appreciation to AP Corporate Archives, Valerie Komor).