In 1917, during the waning days of World War I, a 25-year-old journalist named Jacob Landau had a vision. The war had brought home the realization that what happens in our country affects more than just its own people - that the nation's fate is bound up with the fate of surrounding nations. At the same time, the continuing mass migration of Jews to the New World meant that more and more families were now separated by oceans. Jews in one part of the world had a personal interest in what was happening halfway around the globe. And the Jewish People as a whole had an increasing stake in the geopolitical developments transforming much of the Western world.
Landau realized that world Jewry needed a mechanism for transmitting vital information about what was happening to Jewish communities in various parts of the world. The Jewish People needed its own reliable source of information, so that it could keep its leaders informed about important developments of the day and, when necessary, motivate the community to action. And so, Landau founded the Jewish Correspondence Bureau, later renamed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). It was, in fact, the first news agency that not only gathered but also disseminated news in every part of the world.
Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency