In existence since 1904, the ITAR-TASS News Agency is one of the world's largest international information agencies. The successor to the Soviet TASS news agency, it was re-named in 1992, when Russia proclaimed its sovereignty following the collapse of the USSR. It has retained its status of being the state central information agency.
Previously available to only a select few, the agency's resources are now available to anyone who is interested, both within and outside Russia; the mass media, academic institutions, organizations and private individuals.
To better serve a rapidly growing number of subscribers, the agency has developed a new set priorities designed to streamline and improve key aspects of its operation: how topics are selected, expansion of news coverage, and timely delivery of news on the wire. As the very nature of news production continues to evolve, the agency will continually make use of the very latest available technologies in order to make real-time news distribution faster and more efficient.
ITAR-TASS relies on a widespread net of correspondents. Currently, It has more than 130 bureaus and offices in Russia and abroad. ITAR-TASS also cooperates with more than 80 foreign news agencies. ITAR-TASS' editorial and other desks process information from correspondents, check and analyze facts, and translate into five foreign languages.
ITAR-TASS has accumulated a rich body of experience throughout the course of its 100-year history. The agency's widespread network of correspondents, its modern means of distributing and storing information, and a well-oiled mechanism of cooperation between its editorial, reference and reporter departments, all enable ITAR-TASS to provide quick and full coverage of all kinds of events shaping Russia and the world.
ITAR-TASS offers today 45 round-the-clock news cycles in six languages and more than 40 information bulletins.
The agency also operates a photo service, the largest of its kind in Russia. This unique service offers pictures of the latest breaking developments, available for prompt transmission in digital form. Clients also have access to an extremely rich photo archive dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.
Also available is the INFO-TASS electronic data bank, which contains all agency materials produced since 1987, multimedia products, and unique reference books on Russia and other CIS member states, which are regularly updated. On a daily basis, ITAR-TASS produces and transmits to its subscribers around the world materials that can cover 300 newspaper pages.
The St. Petersburg Telegraph Agency (SPTA), the first official news agency of Russia and the predecessor of ITAR-TASS, began to operate on September 1, 1904.
The creation of the agency was initiated by the Finance, Interior and Foreign Ministries. On July 4, 1904 a meeting of representatives of the ministries empowered "to consider issues concerning the project of a government telegraph agency" adopted the basic documents for the creation and operation of SPTA.
The project to launch SPTA was approved by last Russian Tsar Nicholas the Second. The agency had to "report within the Empire and abroad political, financial, economic, trade and other data of public interest". Three directors, one from each of the Finance, Interior and Foreign Ministries, comprised the panel that managed the agency.
On December 31, 1909 the agency was subordinated directly to the Council of Ministers upon a submission of Prime Minister Petr Stolypin…
Petrograd Telegraph Agency (PTA)
On August 19, 1914, one day after Nicholas the Second ruled to rename St. Petersburg into Petrograd, SPTA changed its name accordingly and became the Petrograd Telegraph Agency (PTA).
During the Bolshevik revolution on October 25 (November 7) 1917 the PTA building in Pochtampt Street was seized by revolutionary Baltic Fleet seamen headed by Military Commissar Leonid Stark. The first reports written by Stark about the Bolshevik revolution were immediately wired by PTA to the whole world.
On November 18 (December 1) 1917 the Bolshevik government (Sovnarkom) decreed PTA to become the central government information agency. In March 1918 PTA moved to Moscow where it merged in June with the Press bureau of the government…
Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA)
On September 7, 1918 the government presidium resolved to rename PTA and the Press bureau into the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA).
ROSTA became "the central information agency of the whole Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic"…
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS)
On July 10, 1925 the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was founded and took over the main functions of the Russian Telegraph Agency as the central information agency of the country. TASS enjoyed "exclusive right to gather and distribute information outside the Soviet Union, as well as the right to distribute foreign and domestic information within the Soviet Union, and manage the news agencies of the Soviet republics". TASS comprised news agencies of all the Soviet republics: RATAU (Ukraine), BELTA (Byelorussia), UZTAG (Uzbekistan), KAZTAG (Kazakhstan), GRUZINFORM (Georgia), AZERINFORM (Azerbaijan), ELTA (Lithuania), ATEM (Moldavia), LATINFORM (Latvia), KIRTAG (Kirghizia), TAJIKTA (Tajikistan), ARMENPRESS (Armenia), TURKMENINFORM (Turkmenia), ETA (Estonia). TASS news and photos were received by 4,000 Soviet newspapers, TV and radio stations and over a thousand foreign media outlets. The news agency ran one of the biggest networks of correspondents in the world - 682 offices in the country and 94 bureaus abroad, and employed close to 2,000 journalists and photo correspondents…
ITAR-TASS News Agency
The news agency was named the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) in January 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the proclamation of sovereignty by democratic Russia. Today ITAR-TASS is a major world news agency and preserves the status of the central state information agency of the country.
ITAR-TASS constantly works to expand the list of subscribers and to suit the demands of major national publications, news agencies and TV channels, as well as of small regional media outlets. We closely cooperate with authorities, political parties and movements, public and humanitarian organizations, government ministries and business structures. The potential of our news agency can quench any information thirst.
ITAR-TASS motto is REALTIME, RELIABLE AND QUALITY NEWS!