The history of information agencies in Azerbaijan begins with the foundation of the Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTac). Founded by the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1920, AzerTac operated during the Soviet period under various names. The first name was Azerbaijan Telegraph Agency, later it was called Azerinform. After Azerbaijan regained independence, the agency restored its historic name. In 1995 it was called State Telegraph Agency under the Cabinet of Ministers, and in 2000, Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency. As of 2019, in addition to the official state news, AzerTac provides 24-hour information in English and Azerbaijani on socio-political and economic matters, on education, science, culture, health-care, sports, environment, etc.
The independent news agency Turan, one of the leading independent agencies in the former Soviet Union, was founded in 1990 in Baku by a group of journalists. The agency distributes news, analytical articles and reviews of Azerbaijan on topics including politics, economy, energy, finance, communications and photography. Media, government officials, governmental and diplomatic institutions, international organisations, foreign and domestic companies, use the products of Turan. The agency produces content in three languages: Azerbaijani, English and Russian. The agency distributes news online, in real time and in periodic bulletins. In August 2017, tax authorities initiated an investigation of the Turan Information Agency and subsequently detained its director, Mehman Aliyev. Three state institutions provided three very different explanations for his arrest. Amid international pressure, including condemnations from the Council of Europe and the US State Department, the government released Aliyev after three weeks and dropped all charges.
Founded in 1995 as a private media outlet in Azerbaijan, Trend News Agency is a news provider focusing on the South Caucasus, Caspian and Central Asia regions. Analytical reports and feature articles produced by the agency highlight major political, economic and energetic developments and financial articles from the countries of coverage. Trend News Agency operates five news services, in Azerbaijani, English, Russian, Turkish, and Persian. The services produce news from the countries and regions by placing more focus on ongoing events in languages appropriate to the specific audiences. Trend’s specialised bulletins cover sectors such as politics, business, oil and gas, transport and logistics, finance and banking in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.
Registered on 8 January, 2004 by the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan, the Azeri Press Agency (APA) launched its operations on 16 November, 2004. APA issues newsletters and online bulletins in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. The newsletters cover political, economic, social, cultural and sports events within the country, as well as breaking news about ongoing regional and worldwide developments. APA’s subscribers and customers include embassies, consulates, diplomatic missions, international representatives, government agencies, ministries, financial institutions, representatives of international financial institutions in Azerbaijan as well as foreign companies and local and foreign business entities. Most of the subscribers are the leading pro-government and opposition press and independent media. Most non-governmental agencies and organisations of the Azerbaijani diaspora are also among the permanent subscribers. APA has offices in Turkey, Russia, Iran, Georgia and the Great Britain, as well as in all regions of Azerbaijan. APA resumed its activities in June 2019, after its websites had been offline since August 2018 following a misquoted declaration by President Ilham Aliyev.
As a holding, APA also controls the Online News Agency (ONA), which was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan Republic on 11 February, 2019. The core principles of the agency are accuracy, efficiency, impartiality and its main goal is to objectively cover the key political, economic and other events taking place in the country and worldwide. ONA publishes special bulletins and online news in languages including Azerbaijani, English, Russian, Arabic, French and Armenian. Information blocks include news on Azerbaijan's political, economic, social, cultural and sporting life, as well as news and articles about events occurring in the region and the world. ONA offers photo and video services, as well as analytical services on economic and political themes. Its offices operate in all regions of Azerbaijan, as well as in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Georgia and Iran.