Government ownership of news agencies stems from the early 1900s. In 1904 the St. Petersburg (later Petrograd) Telegraph Agency was founded by the Russian government. In 1918, Soviet Russia founded Rosta by merging the telegraph agency with the government press bureau, and in 1925 Rosta became TASS. Today, as ITAR-TASS it is the official news service of Russia and also provides coverage of the other former Soviet republics. In 1915, Germany established a service called Transocean to broadcast war propaganda. The New China News Agency (Xinhua), founded in 1931 as the Red China News Agency, maintains official news and financial service wires, publishes dozens of newspapers and magazines, has its own advertising and public relations firms, and runs a school of journalism. Since 1990 independent news agencies have appeared in Eastern Europe, including Interfax in Russia and A. M. Pres in Romania.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.