N. Ravi, director of Kasturi and Sons Limited, publisher of The Hindu, and a former Editor of the paper, was unanimously elected president of the Editors Guild of India.
He succeeds T.N. Ninan, chairman and editorial director of Business Standard.
Guild’s general secretary Vijay Naik said, “Mr. Ravi’s name was proposed by senior journalist H.K. Dua, and seconded by K.K. Katyal at an annual general meeting of the Guild in the Capital on Tuesday. He will serve a two-year term.”
The editors also discussed a recent consultation paper on cross-media ownership issued by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). In the paper, TRAI pointed to the increasing trend of both horizontal and vertical integration in the media, political and corporate ownership of television and newspapers, and underscored need to ensure the media’s plurality and diversity.
The meeting asked Mr. Ninan to frame a response to the paper. He told The Hindu, “The final position of the Guild on TRAI issues is still to be formulated, and may take a week.”
Issues of media regulation also cropped up at the meeting. Some members expressed concern at recent official statements that hinted at regulation through legislation. Others pointed out that it was unlikely that the government would initiate any such measure in its final year in office. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertion that the government had no intention of regulating the media was also noted.
Veteran journalist B.G. Verghese, however, pointed out that “untrammelled freedom” did not exist anywhere, the media has failed to self-regulate, and there was need to “discuss the issue in a sensible, not black-and-white, manner.”
Mr. Naik said, “There is opposition to any government move, but realisation that something needs to be done.” The Guild will continue considering the issue at future meetings.