In 2004 ITAR-TASS marks centennial. We are entering the jubilee year with a clear understanding of the role of our news agency in the life of the country and of numerous generations of our compatriots, in the creation of the image of Russia in the world.

ITAR-TASS was born in the first years of the 20th century when three government departments of the Russian empire - the Finance, Interior, and Foreign Ministries - initiated the creation of the first Russian official news agency. Russia was dynamically developing at the time and it was extremely important to "report within the Empire and abroad political, financial, economic, trade and other data of public interest…"

The professional genealogy of our news agency dates back to 1904 when the St. Petersburg Telegraph Agency (SPTA) was created. In 1914 St. Petersburg was renamed into Petrograd and SPTA followed suit to become Petrograd Telegraph Agency (PTA). After the Bolshevik revolution PTA merged in 1918 with the Press bureau at the government of Soviet Russia into the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA). In 1925 the Soviet government founded the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS).

The current name of the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS) the agency received in January 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the proclamation of sovereignty by democratic Russia.

ITAR-TASS today is a major world news agency that preserved the status of the central state information agency, but acquired new traits due to democratic transformations in Russia, to changes in information access techniques, new computer and telecommunication technologies.

Entering the jubilee year we feel immense responsibility before our predecessors - the previous generations of journalists of our news agency - to preserve their best creative traditions. We have everything necessary for that today - both intellectual and technical resources.

The 2004 ITAR-TASS catalogue contains dozens of information products, which we believe may satisfy various demands of mass media, non-government and state organizations both in Russia and abroad. We offer you real time news services, bulletins, dossier, references and information on order.