Opinion » Readers' Editor

Updated: September 19, 2012 15:24 IST

Panneerselvan, The Hindu’s new Readers’ Editor

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A.S. Panneerselvan
The Hindu
A.S. Panneerselvan

A.S. Panneerselvan, well-known journalist and Executive Director of Panos South Asia, will take over as The Hindu’s Readers’ Editor with effect from September 20, 2012, the 134th anniversary of the newspaper’s founding. His appointment for a renewable two-year term has been announced by the Board of Directors of Kasturi & Sons Limited, publishers of The Hindu and other newspapers.

The Hindu is the only newspaper in India that has institutionalised the office of the Readers’ Editor, an independent internal news ombudsman functioning with clearly formulated Terms of Reference modelled on those of The Guardian.

K. Narayanan, a veteran journalist and former News Editor of The Hindu, was appointed the newspaper’s first Readers’ Editor in 2006. He was succeeded by S. Viswanathan, who retired at the end of June 2012. Mr. Panneerselvan will be the first Readers’ Editor with no prior editorial association with The Hindu group.

With wide experience in both print and television journalism, Mr. Panneerselvan (49) has been a member of the steering committee of the Global Forum for Media Development since its inception in 2008 and is an Advisory Panel Member of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships. He was a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford in 1998. He has lectured on media and journalistic ethics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; the University of Oxford; the University of Leiden; and the Asian College of Journalism.

His work as the Chennai-based Executive Director of Panos South Asia, which will continue, involves senior responsibilities for seven offices in five countries in the region.

“I am humbled and honoured,” Mr. Panneerselvan said about his appointment. “The efficacy and credibility of self-regulation depends on a robust, autonomous system of redress. The Readers’ Editor’s Terms of Reference provide a clear mechanism to ensure accountability of the editorial team to its readers; and to retain and enhance readers’ trust in the newspaper. I will strive to do my best to be an effective interface between The Hindu’s readers and the 134-year-old institution.”

As per the Terms of Reference, the Readers’ Editor is a Board of Directors appointment for a renewable two-year term. By virtue of the terms of appointment, he or she is independent of the Editor, the editorial personnel, and the editorial process. The key objectives of this appointment are ‘to institutionalise the practice of self-regulation, accountability, and transparency; to create a new visible framework to improve accuracy, verification, and standards in the newspaper; and to strengthen bonds between the newspaper and its millions of print platform and online readers.’

Readers’ Editor, The Hindu — Terms of Reference:

Living our Values — Code of Editorial Values:

Profile of A.S. Panneerselvan:


An enabling self-regulationSeptember 24, 2012

Profile of A.S. PanneerselvanSeptember 19, 2012

Good move. Usually we see this post filled by a person who retires. Now a difference! No connect with the newspaper except that some time back he did a documentary for the newspaper and is adjunct faculty of Asian College but then u cant expect the resident editor of Times to be in this seat.

from:  Ayyappa Prasad
Posted on: Sep 20, 2012 at 08:11 IST

Welcome to us, Mr.ASP. The Hindu could not have done better for us, the readers.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: Sep 20, 2012 at 01:53 IST

Alhumdulillah. All praise to God. Iam very happy. I have been reading Panneer Selvam since his Outlook days. Best wishes for him.

from:  T Azeez Luthfullah
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 19:42 IST

Congartulations Mr. A.S Pannerselvan. Wishing success in the new assignment. Hope his experience and International exposure would help to improve the content of the great paper.

from:  C.O.T Azeez
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 19:18 IST

congratulations to Paneer, he has done it again!

from:  irengbam arun
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 18:41 IST

A request to the new Readers' Editor. It is observed that 'comments'
facility is closed too early by the For instance, it is
observed in some cases that the comments facility is closed the same day
news appears. This is a negative trend. Why should The Hindu put such
restrictive practices if it is in favour of a spate of views properly
expressed.Kindly have it examined and decide.

from:  s.subramanyan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 16:34 IST

Panneerselvan is a incredibly intelligent, knowledgeable and fair
person. He has successfully run many exciting development programs in
Panos South Asia and Panos globally and one of the driving forces of the
reputed Panos Network. He enjoys immense respect within the Panos

from:  S Chauhan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 15:32 IST

Congratualtion to Mr. A.S. Pannerselvan for his appointment as the The Hindu’s Readers’ Editor. He has come a long way. I am proud to be one of his classmate in his school days.

Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 14:44 IST

I attended Panneer Selvam sirs participatory discourse in chennai. he is a Judicial thinker. the way he explains the facts of the subject is excellent.

from:  elayaraja.k.s
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 13:56 IST

one hand pure filter coffee and on the other hand, that day"s Hindu paper,this is habituated practic of every chennaites seniors,without which the day will not pass on.
congratulations Mr Pannerselvan,that you have been appointed as the Resident editor of THE HINDU.SHOWS, that the great news paper of India,more from south india, further expands its wings more internationally than ever.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 12:33 IST

Panneerselvan Sir is a brilliant media critic and analyst! I am so thrilled to see his
appointment as the new readers' editor! He is a wonderful mentor and a visionary
news journalist! I wish him all the best in this new role!

from:  Preeti Shekar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 11:56 IST

My best wishes to Mr.A.S.Paneerselvan on being appointed as the Readers Editor.He is an intelligent person who is soft spoken and is respected person in the press faternity.May he be sucessful in all his endeavours.

from:  David Joseph
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 11:14 IST

The first RE Mr. K. Narayanan wrote to me (13.04.07) about his job
and, indicatively, its limits: "In my columns I write what I feel. And
I leave it at that. I cannot enforce implementation. If someone takes
it seriously and benefits -- many tell me they do -- I am happy."

Sadly, the 'many', over the years, have dwindled to 'hardly any', as
mistakes continue to be made, and worse, repeated.
Hope the new RE realises that his work is more taxing and pivotal than
merely correcting spelling and punctuation errors.

from:  Devraj Sambasivan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 10:55 IST

An elderly friend of mine once said to me as people saying that they
believe the death news of their relative only if it appeared in the
obituary columns of the HINDU.This faith the Hindu gain only from the
acts such as appointment of Readers editor.Welcome Panneer Selvam as the
New RE

from:  Sivaprabhu.C
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 10:45 IST

Mr.A.S.Panneerselvan is well known in the media circles for his ability
to get along with a cross section of the population , see and write on
incidents and events with a clear lens.The key objectives of the
publication and the individual's standing in the industry as a
journalist should help the publication and provide the readers a continuous opportunity to read unbiased news and views.

from:  R.Raghavan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 09:40 IST

It is commendable that The Hindu, the only newspaper to have a 'Readers' Editor' in the country has brought in an independent journalist with impeccable credentials as its Readers' Editor. Sri A S Panneerselvan with his wide gamut of experience is certain to do a creditable job in discharging his responsibilities as Readers' Editor.

from:  C V ARAVIND
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 06:18 IST

The earlier Readers' Editor functioned as if he were a columnist. Mr.
Narayanan at least used to answer readers' queries and complaints,
even though he almost always sided with the newspaper. [If the
Readers' Editor always supported the paper, why have one?] It will be
interesting to see how the new editor functions.

In response to the editorial on FDI in the retail business sector, one
reader castigated the piece by saying, "The Hindu is publishing
rubbish." The noteworthy feature was that it got published! In the
past, comments critical of the paper would never get published,
whereas coy praise would shamelessly be approved. This new trend of
publishing criticisms is a welcome change, and I wish the paper (or at
least the website) would give more space to views that are sharply
critical of it.

from:  V. Vanamali
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 06:04 IST

Great Move!!! Mr. Panneerselvan is a seasoned journalist. I am sure he will bring all his education, expertise and experience into The Hindu, which continues to march ahead in its glorious path. Congratulations, Mr. Panneerselvan!

from:  Dandee
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 05:52 IST

The Hindu has it reputation and it was briefly tarnished when they published in support of alleged war criminal Rajapakse regime. Today, accurate information flows freely throughout the world within seconds and WikiLeaks has showed the dark side of diplomats and politicians. In order to win the hearts of readers, Journalists has to be moderates, unbiased, ethical and bring value and it can deliver democracy, freedom, human rights, rule of law, justice to people.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 01:40 IST

A welcome change. Let's see if Mr. Panneerselvan can discharge his duties without fear or favour, and function as a real Reader's Editor.

All the best

from:  Arun Subbu
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 01:38 IST

Congratulations, Mr. Pannerselvan.

Why is that The Hindu NEVER gives the e-mail addresses of its reporters, opinion-piece writers, and other?

And most importantly, why doesn't The Hindu give the e-mail address of the Readers Editor?

from:  Kollengode S Venklataraman
Posted on: Sep 19, 2012 at 00:03 IST

very hearty welcome to Shri A S Panneerselvan, the new Readers'
Editor. A noted journalist known for his commitment to independent
views, right to democratic expressions in the larger interest of the
society and value based journalism as exhibited by his column writings
and sharing platforms with democratic minded people, his choice for
the post is heart warming and reassuring.

I am hopeful of finding a refreshing new look and new dimension to his
placement in that coveted post, the one and only in India.

from:  s v venugopalan
Posted on: Sep 18, 2012 at 23:48 IST
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