'The Fourth Estate' published by Suhrid Publication is an academic exploration of the principles of journalism. Santanu Banerjee writes from his experience as in-charge of the department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Vidyasagar University.
JOURNALISM HAS always been the most effective medium for motivating the public opinion. This is how Santanu Banerjee has started his book ‘The Fourth Estate’. This book aims at explaining the subject in an easy understandable way. Each and every topic related to journalism is discussed in detail.
The book covers the syllabus for print journalism of all the leading universities of the country. Starting with the growth and development of journalism as the Fourth Estate the author explains each and every aspect of the subject. The laws related to the press are also elaborately discussed. The concluding section contains a wide glossary of journalistic terms. The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India is added as appendix. The author shares his vast experience as a professional journalist and academician. The book will be helpful to professionals as well as the researches of the subject. For the common readers, the book can be a treasure- trove for revelation of the subject.Journalism is not only a profession; it is a noble mission. Specifically in democratic countries, media plays the role of a cautious watchdog for the society. It (media) points out the shortcomings at the various levels of social life and prescribes the possible solutions for them. It can create strong public consensus against corruption, oppression or any type of injustice. Naturally, the profession stirs the primary attention of the common people. In their day-to-day life common men show an immense interest about the subject. The Fourth Estate successfully aims at explaining the subject in a lucid and comprehensive way. The author has taken every pain to discuss each topic related to journalism in detail. He has consciously avoided the scholarly jargons in his writing and the use of simple English has made the book easily reachable to the people. University and college students who take up journalism can find in the book a compendium of journalistic facts and data.The book traces a brief history of journalism and explains the concept of journalism. The history of Freedom movement and Indian Journalism is elaborately discussed in the second chapter. The rest of the book is devoted to the discussion of numerous aspects of Journalism and it is really amazing to see the multiple perspectives of the book. Banerjee deals with varied topics in the different chapters of the book - News & Its elements, Structure of News department, Editor and Desk, Contents of a Newspaper, Chief reporter & his comrades, different types of reporting, the Art of Interview, Press Conference, News Agency, News Bureau, Lay-out & Proof Reading, Photo Journalism, Cartoon, Genres of Journalism, Penny Press & Yellow Journalism, Web Journalism, Community Journalism & City Coverage, Ownership Pattern & Source of Income, Circulation, Types of Print Media, Press Commission & Press Council, Ethics & Principles: Code of conduct, Freedom of press and Laws related to Press. Though the chapters on Press and Yellow Journalism and Freedom of Press could have been written more specifically. He had the scope for more elaboration, which he has not done in the book. He has not done justice to Web Journalism. He forgot to mention Citizen Journalism and the names of the important online portals, which have been honoured and awarded nationally. Suhrid Publications, Kolkata, may cover all these in the second edition of the book.While writing the book, Banerjee who at present is in-charge of the Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication of Vidyasagar University, seems to have always recalled the faces of his students who are scared of the vast syllabus to cover. Journalism and mass communication students will also find the book helpful for their studies. What is really commendable in Banerjee’s writing is that he has tried his best to explain every aspect of journalism in simple language. As a teacher he has tried to enrich the chapters of the book with his vast media experience.