In that sort of deals it is not only important how good the camera is, but what Sony offered to the agency as a deal. It could mean that its not the best camera but it was probably the best deal.
Yes that makes sense. I guess a company the size of Sony can take on making less profit short term but bet on the long run benefit that that kind of marketing would imply. But still, it is a drastic change from DSLR's to mirrorless to impose to all of their staff, so even if the A9's are not the best camera (I sold my Sony gear cause I don't like Sony's ergonomics at all), they still have to be good enough and better than most. More so, it means a paradigm shift in terms of the journalism industry so the fight is now in the mirrorless territory and DSLR's are probably to never return.