Azerbaijan`s first national news agency AZERTAC turns 95. Founded by the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic on March 1, 1920, AZERTAC has gone through a difficult and glorious path. The agency was a branch of the TASS agency after the fall of the Democratic Republic. Throughout its history the agency has had its name changed seven times, and returned its historical name only in 1991 when Azerbaijan restored its independence.Working on a round-the-clock basis, AZERTAC is producing news in seven languages, including in Azerbaijani, English, Russian, French, German, Arabic and Chinese covering socio-political, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, healthcare, sport, environmental and other fields. The agency is producing more than 30,000 news items, more than 80,000 photos, more than 800 videos and more than 30 infographics on a monthly basis.In 2004, AZERTAC became a member of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), which groups the world`s leading news agencies. The agency is the largest contributor of news items to OANA`s website.In 2008, the agency joined the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA). AZERTAC is one of the founders of the Association of the National News Agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (ANIA), the Union of the Turkic Speaking News Agencies (TKA) and the Black Sea Association of National News Agencies (BSANNA).In 2011-2013, AZERTAC chaired the Black Sea Association of National News Agencies. It currently presides over the Union of the Turkic Speaking News Agencies.AZERTAC has signed agreements and maintains successful cooperation with national news agencies of nearly 40 countries and with them. It will ink several new cooperation agreements in the next couple of days.AZERTAC hosted the 30th OANA Executive Board Meeting entitled “News for everybody in a globalizing world” in September 2008. Heads and high-ranking representatives from over 20 countries came together in Azerbaijan for the first time.AZERTAC Director General became OANA`s Vice-President and was re-elected as an Executive Board member for the third time in a row at the 15th OANA General Assembly held in Moscow in September, 2013. The organization also decided to hold its next General Assembly in Baku, which meant that AZERTAC would be holding OANA`s presidency in 2016-2019.AZERTAC`s another success came when heads of more than 70 leading news agencies, including Turkey’s Anadolu, Russia’s TASS, Egypt’s MENA, Argentina’s TELAM, French Agence France-Presse, UK’s Press Association, Australian Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, Southern Korea’s YONHAP, and news alliances such as OANA, EANA, FANA, IINA, and media corporations, including SKY News Arabia, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and BBC, and internet corporations such as MSN, Google and Yahoo came together in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, for the 4th News Agencies World Congress. The Riyadh meeting decided that the next Congress would take place in Azerbaijan in 2016, which means the agency would chair the News Agencies World Congress in 2016-2019.According to Socialbakers, the most popular provider of social media analytic tools of the US, AZERTAC’s Facebook page in Azerbaijani language ranks in the top five among the fastest growing media accounts and the first among news agencies. According to Socialbakers reports, AZERTAC’s Twitter and YouTube accounts constantly rank in the top five in “Media” category for Azerbaijan.The agency is expanding its foreign bureaus network and international cooperation. AZERTAC now has bureaus in 21 countries, which are the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Sweden, Romania, Latvia, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Its offices in Azerbaijan cover all regions of the country.On the eve of the 95th anniversary of AZERTAC, President Ilham Aliyev signed executive orders to rename the agency and confer honorary titles and give awards to 13 employees of the agency. AZERTAC faces a promising future. A new state-of-the-art building is now being constructed for the agency, which will appear in a special design.
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