20 January, 2021

How To Judge An Editor

Times change but not the basics. It’s still about how well you walk the tightrope between public interest and what the public is interested in.

Illustration by Saahil
How To Judge An Editor

It is said that an editor’s is a thankless job. He is resp­ected, feared, even hated. There is a story that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor, missed him and killed the publisher. The narrator adds for good measure that Napoleon’s intentions were good! So how should we judge a member of the species? The Press Council of India Guidelines on Ethical Norms deal at some length with editors’ discretion. It recognises that in the matter of writing an editorial, the editor enjoys a good deal of latitude and discretion. It is for him/her to choose the subject and to use the language s/he considers appropriate, provided that in the process the boundaries of the law and the norms of journalism are not transgressed and the views are couched in sober, dignified and socially acceptable language. The guidelines uphold the editors’ discretion in the selection of the material for publication, but in the expectation that, on any controvers­ial issue of public interest, all views would be given equal prominence so that the public can form an inde­pendent...



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