9 Sep 2009 18:55

Interfax to provide universities, researchers with access to its archives, know-how

The Interfax Information Services Group, which turned 20 today, has announced a number of initiatives aimed at expanding the availability of its news archive and unique expertise in training journalists to research and educational institutions.

Interfax will now provide leading global research and educational centers specializing in Russia studies with access to its news archive dating back to 1989.

The archive contains all news produced by every national, regional, and industry news agency from the Interfax Group. Between them, these agencies release about 5,000 news items every day in Russian, English, German, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh, and Azeri.

Program participants will enjoy access to Interfax’s SCAN news and analysis database, which contains an archive of all Interfax reports since its inception. SCAN’s search engine allows users to search both by context and by names of organizations and individuals, and to analyze this information.

“Interfax’s news helps readers study and analyze events in Russia’s and other former Soviet republics’ modern history in detail, day-by-day. Foreign researchers and experts working in the fields of politics and economics often send inquiries to us concerning events that have happened over the past twenty years. We expect the implementation of our program will provide them with a convenient tool for work and help them better understand the processes unfolding in Russia and neighboring countries,” Interfax Group Board Chairman and CEO Mikhail Komissar said.

Another new Interfax initiative is the publication of its own Information Standard and Charter in book format to be handed out in journalism departments at Russian colleges for use in their courses.

It is the first time that this 100-page document, which comprehensively sets out the principles, rules, and professional standards employed by the leading Russian news agency and provides specific examples of them, will be available to a broad range of specialists, journalists and students.

Until recently this document, authored by the heads of Interfax’s news services, has served as an internal document and has been used in training our own staff.

“As the first private news agency in the USSR, Interfax was the first to introduce fundamentally new standards of informational journalism based on the principles of impartiality, independence, and responsibility. Launching our economic and financial products, we were pioneers in establishing a new format for providing professional information to investors and financial and commodity market players, which has become an industry standard for many other Russian media outlets. We decided that the time has come to make the document, which thoroughly sets out time-tested principles and rules of our work, publicly available. I think this will help future journalists form a responsible attitude toward information and promote the principles of independent journalism,” Komissar said.

The Interfax Group is actively cooperating with journalism departments at a number of leading national colleges and universities. Leading Interfax journalists deliver lectures and give master classes at Moscow‘s Lomonosov State University (MSU) and the Higher School of Journalism, part of the Higher School of Economics (HSE). Interfax has also instituted a special scholarship in memory of its veteran correspondent Boris Grishchenko at the MSU journalism department.

***The Interfax Information Services Group provides news and other information products that are essential for decision-makers in politics and business. Interfax’s products and services include news reports, stock exchange information, analysis, searchable databases, business references on companies, ratings and rankings, credit reports, services in IT and information disclosure, and the organization of press conferences.

The Interfax Group has unmatched experience in collecting, storing, and distributing original high-quality information and providing innovative solutions for its delivery and enjoys a long-standing reputation as an impartial, trustworthy, and independent news source. Interfax is the developer of a family of hi-tech news and analysis products, such as IFX, EFIR, SPARK, and SCAN, which help its customers to make risk management and marketing decisions.

***SCAN (System of Comprehensive News Analysis) is a news and analysis database developed by the Interfax Group for highly-effective analysis of the media and monitoring the news environment. It includes over 2,000 information sources, such as newspapers, magazines, news agencies, Internet publications, TV and radio, and additional reference information on companies and personalities (www.scan-interfax.ru).