Media as its own censor: another version
I READ online in Jawed Naqvi’s article ‘Media as its own censor’
This misconstrued and inaccurate reference to what I said in a television discussion on the significance of our ongoing India Cables series of stories: “This is where the role of The Hindu needs to be watched more closely despite its vital help in exposing the political malaise in India. Its editor said in a TV discussion that the paper was being responsible about the leaks and that it had taken out the names of some people from the reports.”
I said nothing in the discussion, which was recorded, to suggest censorship of any kind or that we were ‘taking out’ the name of ‘some people’ for reasons of political or other sensitivity or to avoid embarrassment.
What I said in that discussion and also made clear in print on Day One of our series is that under a formal understanding reached with WikiLeaks, The Hindu as a responsible newspaper has agreed to put the cables through a ‘redaction process’ but also that the redaction would be for the sole purpose of protecting vulnerable people in dangerous legal or political situations, where their life and limb would be at risk.
In fact, the understanding makes it clear that there will be no redaction for any other purpose. There are hundreds of India Cables we are still looking at and I made it clear that from scanning and speed reading through the cache our impression was that very few of the cables required or warranted redactions.
We have so far redacted only three of the 120+ cables we have published (online) and uploaded at the WikiLeaks website; they involve one name and references to a small group of unnamed individuals; and the reason for the redaction was, as required by the terms of our understanding with WikiLeaks, protecting the vulnerable persons from the threat of extremist violence or reprisals. Here is a link to my introductory article, published in The Hindu of March 15.
The Hindu as a newspaper and I as its Editor-in-Chief and also personally have high regard for Dawn and the journalistic standards it has stood for and continues to uphold.