Hindusthan Samachar, the multi-lingual news agency revived in 2003, completed its five years. Revived only in two languages?Marathi and Hindi, the agency has today more than 200 subscribers and offices in 26 cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Gangtok, Guwahati, Patna, Ranchi, Allahabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Jalandhar, Udhampur and Port Blair. The offices in Trivandrum, Simla and Chandigarh will begin soon.
According to Shri Ram Joshi, editor and CEO of the agency, nearly 400 news items in different Bharatiya languages are provided online everyday. It includes about 275 news items in Hindi, 80 in Oriya, 50 in Marathi, 25 each in Nepali, Bangla, Asamia and 15 each in Kannada, Telgu, Tamil and Sindhi. Sanskrit service has also been started recently. Hindusthan Samachar is the first news agency, which provides news in ten Indian languages.
News of national importance on different issues like defence, national security, foreign affairs and socio-cultural activities, etc is provided daily. News on current affairs, sports, entertainment, education, economics, finance, industry, railways, crime, judiciary, environment, weather, astrology, women and youth are also covered regularly.
The agency made special arrangements to cover some important issues and agitations. It did it during the Ram Sethu protection movement, Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti agitation in J&K and the murder of Swami Lakshmananand. Reports of the birth centenary celebration of Shri Guruji and direct web relay of the concluding ceremony in Delhi was also arranged.
The agency has also started a photo service. Colour digital photographs are provided online to the newspapers. The services of three photo journalists have been hired for this purpose. A feature service was started under the banner of Navotthan Lekh Sewa. Every month 20 to 22 special features by leading writers on current topics are provided.
During the recent Assembly elections the agency established contacts with many new newspapers? six in Chhattisgarh, four in Madhya Pradesh, 12 in Rajasthan, five in Gujarat and four in Jharkhand. They include newspapers like Deshonnatti, Navshakati in Marathi, Gujarat Samachar in Gujarati, Ranchi Express and Jharkhand Jagran in Hindi. Among them, 36 newspapers have started subscribing the service paying some amount regularly.
Various departments of the State governments have been benefited by the news scan facility provided by the agency. Currently this service is being used at six places in Chhattisgarh, seven places in Madhya Pradesh, four places in Uttarakhand, two places in Rajasthan and one place in Sikkim. Apart from this, the BJP has also availed this service in its Delhi, Ranchi, Dehradun and Jaipur offices. The University of Anand (Gujarat) and Kushabhau Thakre Journalism University of Chhattisgadh are also availing this service for their students.
The agency is going to start kiosk service also shortly. The Dombivli Bank and Janta Sahkari Bank of Pune have already booked for the service. This is a very attractive and effective medium for advertising and propagating messages as well as information about the subscriber company or institution of their product and activities. This service will be available in all the prominent Bharatiya languages on cheaper monthly rates.
Presently there are reporters at 46 districts in Madhya Pradesh, 26 districts in Orissa, 16 districts in Maharashtra, eight districts in Rajasthan, seven districts in Chhattisgarh, 18 districts in Jharkhand. There are also one or two correspondents working in other states like Aizol (Mizoram), Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Srinagar, Leh (J& K) and Kottayam (Kerala). Besides this, there are 25 trainee journalists. There are nearly 46 stringers and part time journalists. In all, there are 85 paid employees including 55 journalists and 30 other employees.
The agency has two websites?www.hindusthansamachar.com, www.hindusthansamachar.net.in. There are separate pages of different languages on each website. There is a separate website for Navotthan Lekh Seva?www.lekhaseva.com.
The agency publishes new year diary every year on Varsh Pratipada. Nearly 35 souvenirs have been published in the last five years and about 18 programmes were organised on the occasion of Dadasaheb Apte birth centenary year in 2005-06. Seven programmes were organised on the occasion of Shri Guruji'sbirth centenary year. The agency celebrated its golden jubilee in 2007-08 at more than 18 places and published 15 souvenirs. In coming years the agency plans to publish Year Book from 2009 every year. There are also plans for starting news service in Punjabi, Urdu and English.