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Indian News Agencies

by Rinku Khumukcham
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By Er. Prabhat Kishore
In the first decade of the 19th century, the four leading English dailies of India, namely The Pioneer, The Statesman, The Englishmen and the Indian Daily News, had very good circulation figure. These four newspapers were operated by the Britishers and hence were the supporters of the British Raj.
Of these, The Pioneer was more popular due to Husmann’s personality. The management of the remaining three newspapers joined hands to compete with “The Pioneer” and constituted the News Agency ‘Associated Press of India (API)’ in 1905with the help of the then notable Indian journalist Shri Keshav Chandra Roy. Thus API has the credit of being the first Indian News Agency. But the English management refused to give him the charge of its director. An angry Roy constituted a parallel news agency ‘Press Bureau’ with the contribution of Shri Usha Nath Sen. Ultimately, he was offered the directorship of ‘API’ where he worked till 1931.
Shri K.C. Roy is known as the father of news agency in Bharat. The branches of API were also opened at Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. But its conditions was not satisfactory and hence in 1915the ‘Reuter’ took it over. After the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the agency started supporting the British Raj. These happenings have worried Indian journalists and newspapers.
To overcome this situation, Shri S. Sadanand, who was associated with ‘Reuter’, formed a national news agency named “Free Press of India (FPI)” in 1925. He was its Director-cum-Managing Editor. But he had to face a lot of difficulties because of the national outlook. Ultimately, in 1935the FPI was closed. Later on, ‘Oriental Press of India (OPI)’ was started from Hyderabad.
On 1st September 1933, Shri B.N. Sengupta formed ‘United Press of India (UPI)’ in Kolkata. After independence, its tele-printer line was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1948, but this news agency was closed in 1958. In 1953, Shri J. P. Chaturvedi had started ‘People Press of India (PPI)’, which is now closed. In August, 1947 the ‘Associated Press of India (API)’ was registered. In 1949, the leading newspapers of the country bought it.
The news agencies operational in India are – Press Trust of India (PTI) and United News of India (UNI), Hindusthan Samachar, Samachar Bharati, Indian Asian News Service (IANS) and Asian News International (ANI). PTI was set up and registered on 27thAugust, 1947. The merit of its formation goes to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who was the incharge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Interim Government. But it started its actual operation from 1stFeb, 1949. On 19thSeptember, 1948 it had signed a MOU with the ‘Reuter’ for three years, which lasted in 1951 and after which PTI started functioning independently. Its Hindi service is called “Bhasha”. Its head-quarter is at 375, Dada Bhai Naurogi Marg, Mumbai.
UNI started its commercial operation on 21st March 1961. It started the multilingual news service “UNIVARTA” on 1st May, 1982. The multi-lingual news agency “Hindusthan Samachar” was formed on 1st December 1948 by S.S. Apte. It provides news in 14 Indian languages. Samachar Bharati was registered in 1962, but began its operation on 1st January 1967. It operated in 10 Indian languages. During the Emergency the existing four news agencies PTI, UNI, Hindusthan Samachar and Samachar Bharati were merged into single Indian news agency “Samachar”, but later on status quo was maintained.
IANS was established in 1986 and initially it served as an information bridge between India and its diaspora in North America. Now it is a full-fledged agency putting out the real-time news from India, South Asia and news of these territories around the world. ANI is the leading news agency in South Asia. It provides a range of facilities for foreign and domestic channels to package their reports.
(Author is a technocrat and educationist. He studied Journalism and Mass Communication at Patna University)

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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