Information Telegraph Agency of Russia
The Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (Russian: Информационное телеграфное агентство России, Informatsionnoye telegrafnoye agentstvo Rossii), abbr. ITAR-TASS (Russian: ИТАР-ТАСС), is a major news agency in Russia, founded in 1902.
Its origin dates back to December 1902 when it began as the Commercial Telegraph Agency under the Ministry of Finance, with Torgovo-Promyshlennaya Gazeta's staff being the main supplier of journalists. As the demand for non-business began during the first battles of the Russo-Japanese War in February 1904, the agency had to change its name to the St. Petersburg Telegraph Agency (SPTA). As there was no change of headquarters and almost no change in its staff and function, it was a mere rebranding. In August 1914, one day after St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd, SPTA was renamed the Petrograd Telegraph Agency (PTA). It was seized by Bolsheviks in November 1917 and by December was renamed as the Central Information Agency of the Soviet Russian Council of People's Commissars'.
In September 1918, the PTA and the Press Bureau of Council of People's Commissars' were merged into the Russian Telegraph Agency (Rosta). From it in July 1925 the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS, Tass) was created by a decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
In January 1992, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a Presidential Decree signed by President Boris Yeltsin re-defined status of Tass which is the abbreviation for Telegrafnoye Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soyuza, or, in English, The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, and changed its name to the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. In May 1994 The Russian Government adopted a resolution "On approval of the Charter of the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia", under which it operates as a central government news agency. Tass remains the acronym for Телеграфное агентство связи и сообщения, Telegrafnoye agentstvo svazi i soobshcheniya, i.e. the Telegraph agency of communication and messages.
It is state-owned and according to its website now produces about 700 newspaper pages per day. It has 74 bureaus and offices in Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and 65 bureaus in 62 other countries.