Front page of the Izvestia newspaper from 15 June 2012.
|Owner(s)||National Media Group|
|Publisher||Inews (News Media)|
|Founded||13 March 1917|
|Headquarters||Begovoy District, Moscow, Russia|
The word izvestiya in Russian means "delivered messages", derived from the verb izveshchat ("to inform", "to notify"). In the context of newspapers it is usually translated as "news" or "reports".
The newspaper began as the News of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers Deputies on 13 March [O.S. 28 February] 1917 in Petrograd. Initially, the paper expressed Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary Party views.
In August 1917, it took the title News of the Central Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. By October 1917 it became News of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Working and Military Deputies, and was eventually retitled News of the Soviets of People's Deputies.
During the Soviet period, while Pravda served as the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, Izvestia expressed the official views of the Soviet government as published by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The full name was Izvestiya Sovetov Narodnykh Deputatov SSSR (in Russian, Известия Советов народных депутатов СССР, the Reports of Soviets of Peoples' Deputies of the USSR).
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Izvestia now describes itself as a "national" newspaper of Russia. The newspaper was owned by a vast holding company of Vladimir Potanin which had close ties with the government. A controlling stake in Izvestia was purchased by state-owned Gazprom on 3 June 2005, and included in the Gazprom Media holding. According to the allegations of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Raf Shakirov, editor-in-chief of Izvestia, was forced to resign because the government officials did not like the paper's coverage of the Beslan school hostage crisis. Other sources informed that Potanin had asked him to leave for fear the Kremlin would be riled by the explicit photographs of the massacre published by Izvestia. As of 2005, the circulation of Izvestia was 240,967. Its 2007 circulation certified by TNS Gallup Media was 371,000 copies. Until his death on 1 October 2008, the chief artist was Boris Yefimov, the centenarian illustrator who had worked as Joseph Stalin's political cartoonist.
In 2008, Gazprom Media sold Izvestia to National Media Group. The newspaper was relaunched in D2 (broadsheet) format after that and adopted a new slogan ("Making Izvestia [i.e., reports] from the news"), as well as extended simultaneously its business coverage. The paper's old business section, Finansovye Izvestia (Finance Izvestia), was closed, and Marker Weekly was launched instead in September 2011, distributed with Izvestia on Mondays. The Friday appendix Nedelya (The Week), devoted to culture and leisure activities, was relaunched as well.
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