Fearlessness is the number one requirement for journalists in the current context in Tamil Nadu and India, N. Ram, Chairman, The Hindu Group’s publishing company THG Publishing Private Limited, told college and school students at an interaction on Sunday.
He said verification, passion for precision and accuracy, sense-making and investigating are the other key qualities required to become excellent journalists.
The interaction was conducted at an event ‘Celebrating Journalism with N. Ram’, organised by JustOut News and Ippodhu in Chennai to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day that falls on May 3, with an aim to create awareness among students about journalism and inspire them to become journalists.
Mr. Ram also emphasised the need for field reporting, which had changed due to advent of digital tools.
‘Fieldwork is essential ’
“While digital tools are helpful, field reporting is essential, especially to verify facts. Digital tools cannot be a substitute for leg work and hard work on the field,” he underlined.
Mr. Ram added that it is important for students to be aware about how journalism works and at the same time to be critics about its workings.
The media should be transparent and accountable, especially in the current situation where there is a loss of trust, he said. Fearlessness and willingness to take risk and expose scams were on the decline now, compared to the time of the Bofors scandal. “This also is the reflection of the current political situation, where investigating agencies are misused,” he said.
To a question on sourcing, he said one of the key things is to make sure that opinion is not anonymous. Earlier delivering the keynote address, he said that the laws on press freedom should be relooked and amended.
He called upon the students to have an understanding of journalism before becoming journalists.
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and News 18 Tamil Nadu senior editor M. Gunasekaran hailed Mr. Ram for his achievements and standing up for press freedom.
Nakkheeran Gopal, editor of Tamil magazine Nakkheeran was among those were present. Ippodhu.com founder and CEO Peer Mohamed welcomed the gathering.