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: http://www.thehindu.com/news/resources/article482493.ece
Living our Values — Code of Editorial Values: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1715043.ece
Profile of A.S. Panneerselvan: http://thne.ws/OALQNx