History of United News of India
In its first Press Commission report, the Press Council of India (PCI) emphasized on the importance of a second news agency, stating that it was absolutely necessary to act as corrective to each other. However, even after the support of PCI, the United Press of India collapsed in 1958 owing to financial problems. Thus some leading newspapers at that time felt the need of a second news agency alongside the Press Trust of India. This resulted in the formation of United News of India under Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. The UNI was then sponsored by eight leading newspapers: The Hindu, The Times of India, The Statesman, Amrita Bazar Patrika, Hindustan Times, Hindustan Standard, Deccan Herald and Aryavarta. Having started thus, the UNI has developed over the years and has proved to be of immense value in the field of journalism.
Subscribers of UNI
The teleprinting network of UNI is worth mentioning. It has reached about 1100 subscribers by teleprinters. The subscribers include newspapers published in 14 languages, the Doordarshan, All India Radio, the Office of the Prime Minister, Offices of Union Ministers, Central and State Governments, corporate houses, electronic and web media. Its head office is located in New Delhi. It employs approximately 325 journalists around India. It has News Bureaus in all state capitals and major cities in India.
Global Operation of UNI
The United News of India has major representatives in important world capitals. It operates on a global basis. In fact it became the first Indian news agency to serve subscribers abroad in 1981. It is providing the wire service directly to their subscribers in the Arab Gulf states and in Singapore through an exclusive satellite channel. Around 250 stringers cover news events in other parts of the world. To supplement agency news coverage of foreign countries , UNI have got their own correspondents who are working diligently in various countries like Washington, London, Dubai, Islamabad, Dhaka, Colombo, Kathmandu, Singapore and Sydney. Nepal was the first country where UNI posted a correspondent in the year 1968. The foreign news for UNI comes mainly from the Associated Press of America. Other sources of world news for the UNI are Deutsche Press-Agentur (West Germany), Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (Italy), Agerpress (Rumania) and many others.
UNIs remarkable achievement is that UNI's service is available in three languages: English language, Hindi language and Urdu language. On May 1, 1982 The Hindi language service, "UNIVARTA", was launched. In June 1992, the Urdu service was started. Today, being the biggest and most comprehensive service of its kind in the country it dominates the news columns of Hindi newspapers in all Hindi speaking states and also in places like Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. The UNIVARTA continues to provide Hindi Newspapers and other media houses, a collection of National, International, Regional, Commercial and Sports News in the language of their publication. In the last twenty years, nearly 250 newspapers, published from more than sixty centres in the Hindi heartland, began subscribing to UNIVARTA. More than 100 newspapers depend exclusively on it. Still efforts are going on to fortify and expand UNIVARTA's coverage, particularly in the eastern, western and southern parts of India. As far as the content is concerned, it provides spot news and also news featuring a wide variety of topics, including Art, Culture, Science, Agriculture, Economy, Heritage and India's policies. These have proved to be extremely popular with UNIVARTA subscribers.
UNI Urdu Service
UNI is the first and the one and only agency in the world to supply news in Urdu. This service was launched on June 5, 1992, by the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. The Urdu Service applies to newspapers, government offices and radio and television stations. It has a range of network which covers Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu-Kashmir.
Financial Services of UNI
UNI introduced many methods which led to an increase in its popularity. A very important scheme was introduced which was known as Financial and Commercial service. It was mainly for reporting Indian and foreign markets. In 1979, thus the UNI's Financial Services (UNIFIN) was launched to provide global coverage of the financial markets from Wall Street and NASDAQ to European and Asian markets. In 1970, the UNI introduced agriculture news and feature service. The UNI Airmail News service was also launched in 1971.
National News Photo Service of UNI
This service was inaugurated in 1987. In the beginning it dispatched black and white photographs only. However, now, it uses the latest technology for creating digital colour photos. The Service has also tied up with Xinhua for the supply of international photos.
Other Services of the UNI
UNI is said to be the first news agency in India to launch a Finance service, a Stock Exchange service and a National Photo service. There are other services started by UNI for its subscribers both in India and abroad. They are as follows:
UNISCAN- a news service fed directly to the television sets
UNIDARSHAN - a TV wing to provide news features, news clips and documentaries to Doordarshan.
UNISCAN -News display on TV sets for hotels and government or corporate clients
UNIDirect - Services for executives in government, corporate and other sectors.
UNI GRAPHICS - Ready-to-use computer-designed graphics.
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