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City news, 09.08.2004 15:18

Aug 6 marks beginning of making of ITAR-TASS news agency

news_agency ST. PETERSBURG, August 6 (Itar-Tass) - In the beginning was a meagre force of nine reporters, who started to do their leg work for the Saint Petersburg Telegraphic Agency that was in making from August 6 to September 1, 1904.

This main news service of imperial Russia was the progenitor of the Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) and, after the Soviet Union was defunct, the Russian Telegraphic News Agency (ITAR) that refused to forget and shed TASS, and lives on as ITAR-TASS.

The interior ministry approved the decree on the foundation of the news agency on August 6, 1904, and it began to work on September 1.

Together with a circular of the imperial post and telegraph directorate, it laid down the status and functions of the new news service, three directors for which were appointed by founders -- the interior, foreign and finance ministries.

The finance ministry’s councillor Pavel Miller was made managing director of the agency created with “highest consent” from Russia’s last Tsar Nicholas II after the finance minister sent to him a memorial On Agreement of the Saint Petersburg Telegraphic Agency with the Alliance of Foreign Official Agencies.

The nine reporters were to fill with news Vestnik (“Bulletin”), with the order to restrict it to 600 to 1,000 words a day “for economy of words” and to “report only facts and avoid excessive descriptions and reiterations”.

The St. Petersburg Telegraphic Agency had about 600 subscribers by 1917.

Now that ITAR-TASS has lived to be a hundred, its electronic mail ranges more than 4,000 mass media.

More than 130 correspondents work in Russia’s regions and CIS states and more than 100 in 55 other countries.

The daily output of ITAR-TASS, one of the world’s five leading news agencies, can fill 100 newspaper pages.

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