Change of guard
01 July 2003
On that day, the board of the Rs 400-crore Kasturi & Sons passed a resolution appointing the whole time director N Ram as the editor-in-chief of The Hindu daily and all other publications. He was entrusted with the overall editorial responsibility. The board's decision has effectively placed Ram above The Hindu's editor N Ravi and executive editor Malini Parthasarathy.
According to the management — except for bringing in Ram by creating a new post — the status quo has been maintained. Well, outwardly at least, as Ravi and Parthasarathy have not resigned yet. Hence strict parallels cannot be drawn between The Hindu and The New York Times since in the latter case two senior editors resigned for the newsroom lapses.
Nevertheless, The Hindu from 28 June carries only Ram's name in the printline as the editor-in-chief. Till 27 June the names of Ravi and Parthasarathy appeared in that space. The other name that appears in the printline is that of S Rangarajan as the printer and publisher.
Ram and (The) Hindu cannot be separated
For Ram, it is a second coming at The Hindu. Years ago he had to step down from the executive editor's position when the management differed with him on the Bofors scandal exposure issue.
“Can Ram be separated from The Hindu,“ chuckles a long-time media-watcher, punning on the two terms (Ram and Hindu) and their associated political stance. Perhaps not. The public had always perceived him to be the daily's editorial in-charge and had praised or blamed him, as the situation demanded, for what the paper wrote even when he was not associated with The Hindu.
According to Ram the management felt a need for improving structures and mechanisms to uphold and strengthen the quality and objectivity in opinion and news reports and, hence, brought him back into the daily. The mandate to Ram also includes restructuring of editorial departments and their functions more in line with the fiercely competitive environment.