The book under review acquires multiple forms of a handbook, of a text book, of an encyclopedia, of research work, or of compendium, depending on the needs of the users. The book in most parts is written in a manner that there is a two-way interaction between the author and the reader. The author seems to have anticipated what would be the next query of the reader at every moment of his writing the book. The author has definitely gone into the thought process of the reader.
The book combines historical analysis of evolution of news agencies from a primitive form to the present era of internet technology. The modern communication system, which initially was prophesised to substitute news agencies, actually in the end became effective tool that reinforces the dominance of news agencies. The book provides lucid examples how different news agencies have effectively used modern technologies and converted each threat into an opportunity.
The author has succeeded in filling the void in global literature on journalism, media studies and business management studies by proving a comprehensive analysis of the past 25 years of media revolution and its impact on news agencies. While the book provides the historical analysis, it also provides background of various news agencies across the countries. This will be useful to lay readers for they can now understand the product of each news agency.
The book thus becomes important source of information for students, diplomatic missions, journalists, news agencies and also the readers.
The book also revisits some of the critical issues that always used to haunt news agencies. Such issues include the role of ethics in reporting the news, the role of governments in controlling the media, the role of business empires, the role of international agencies, the role of public relations and the role of inter-media rivalries. The book also has one chapter exclusively for news agencies in India, their background and evolution as well as their relative competencies and strengths. The chapter also goes into details of recommendations of various Government Committees appointed to look into issues relating to news agencies.
While the book has profiles, backgrounds and critical inputs on news agencies, what it lacks is the information on the role played by vernacular newspapers, especially how they were able to retain readership despite modern technologies. However, the author, K.M. Shrivastava, proved his 28 years of experience of working with news agencies by undertaking such a wide horizontal and vertical study. He showed his research skills by successfully exploring the essential elements of various news agencies. The book has significant information for students of journalism and media communication, bureaucrats, development professionals, working journalists and more importantly common readers.
(New Dawn Press Group, A-59, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-II, New Delhi-110 020.)