Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Readers' Editor Writes on The Hindu's Coverage L-affaire Gopalaswamy

Today's opinion by the Readers' Editor is reasonably well written. It points out the one-sided coverage of the paper on the CEC v. EC controversy. 

Mr.Ram defends the one-sided coverage as 'value judgment' and having nothing to do with fairness. It is true that newspapers seldom entertain the entire range of views on any subject - at some point, the editor must decide what to publish and what to exclude - but it is stupid for a newspaper claiming to be more than a mouthpiece of a particular party to insist that value judgment has nothing to do with fairness. Where an alternative perspective is equally plausible as in this case and many eminent writers indeed made a well-argued case for a contrasting view, the liberal idea of viewpoint diversity and the compelling nature of counterarguments very much warranted their publication. To claim otherwise may be within the editor's discretion but it suggests an illiberal mindset and a cloistered worldview. If those indeed are the values the chief editor espouses, they reflect poorly on his newspaper.

The Reader's Editor says that he is told that the letters that appear in the paper represent a fair proportion of letters received. I have no statistics to disprove this but having carefully observed the sort of letters that get published, I am strongly inclined to look at such a claim as nothing short of facetious. The majority of published letters are laudatory and only the last one or two in a long list happen to be modestly critical. It is quite inconceivable that every editorial position always receives a favorable response in the very same proportion.


Shankar said...

Chindu's record of publishing views opposed to the editor's line is sub-par. IE, ToI, HT and DNA are way better when compared to Chindu in this regard.

Pilid said...

Correct, Shankar. Newspapers such as IE have consciously cultivated diversity in recent years. Mr.Ram, on the other hand, has actively attempted to steer hie paper away from it.

Anonymous said...

Now that elections are around the corner, Vidya-ben, the resident poll-time expert is active again.

Here is a sample of her political wisdom:

"The reason for this is the Hindutva party's continuing pursuit of anti-Muslim policies, demonstrated so graphically in Orissa and Karnataka."

In both these states the clashes were between Christians and Hindus (as reported in the media, including the Chindu), essentially due to missionary mischief.

Ambition and power play in the time of elections

Vidya Subrahmaniam

Hemant said...

There are definitely shady links between all these crooks...

WikiPedia page for Chawla..

March 2005, he was presented the Mazzini award by the Government of Italy "in recognition of his efforts to forge a new relationship with Italy and strengthening existing bonds". 2005 : The Mazzini Award from the Government of Italy. 2005 : Award from the Institution of Directors, New Delhi on the 20th of August 2004.

Anonymous said...

Hi Friends...
Remember, Ram ousted Malini in a kitchen coup in 2003. His accusation against her was that "the paper under Malini's keep had strayed from the traditional values of The Hindu". Soon after his take over, he published a long editorial essay on the lofty principles of quality journalism and promised that The Hindu would follow those principles in the future. We fools expected him to act on his promise. But like a real communist and a real islamist - two classes of people whom Ram admire and promote - he made a sharp U turn... What should we call him?