Hindu Business Line celebrates 25th anniversary

As the paper celebrates its 25th anniversary today, the editor R Srinivasan writes on taking fresh guard:

The peerless Sunil Gavaskar always took fresh guard after scoring a hundred. Milestones were important to Gavaskar — in his long career, he was out in the 90s only five times, while scoring 34 test match centuries — but more important was the task at hand. Hence the fresh guard.

Today, as The Hindu BusinessLine reaches a significant milestone of its own, completing 25 years of credible, unbiased journalism — we too are taking guard afresh. The world around us has changed enormously over the past quarter of a century; but in many ways, the challenges we face haven’t.

In our very first editorial, we wrote that the raison d’etre of our existence was to serve as “a pathfinder, a consultant facilitating economic and business decision-making” and to provide “insight and analyses that will let readers sense and grasp opportunities that are all so transient.”

That mission hasn’t changed. The Hindu BusinessLine has, over the years, built up a well-deserved reputation for sober and factual reporting, neutral and insightful analysis, and a sustained focus on news and information that is important, not merely attention-grabbing. These qualities will continue to underpin everything we do.

The challenges we face, however, have changed enormously. In the post-truth world of fake news and false flags, where algorithms and feed filters strive to envelop us in a comforting but unreal echo chamber, it is all the more vital that the independent media sticks to its purpose of speaking truth to power, to put public interest above all else, to serve as a vehicle for credible news and as an enabler of informed debate and informed public discourse.

At The Hindu BusinessLine, these values continue to drive us. We are a national newspaper, with editions spread from New Delhi in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the southern end of the subcontinent, from Ahmedabad in the west to Kolkata in the east, but we have always had, and will continue to have, a nationalistic heart. For us, our readers and our nation’s interest will always come first.

In this, we are inspired by our group’s rich experience and track record of quality journalism. The Hindu, the group’s flagship publication, has, over the 140 years of its existence earned that which cannot be acquired at any price – the trust of its readers. It is a daunting legacy to live up to, but we have found there is a simple way to do it – by sticking steadfastly to our group’s codes of journalistic ethics and business values, by doing what The Hindu set out to do in 1878 – the fearless pursuit of ‘fairness and justice.’

Yes, India has changed. In the 25 years that we have been reporting on the Indian economy, per capita GDP (in PPP terms) has gone up eight-fold; we have moved from low-income to middle-income status, the number of people living in poverty has fallen by more than half, foreign direct investment has jumped 22 times, while the Sensex has climbed from 4,000 to 36,000 levels.

But in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world, the challenge of providing authentic and unbiased information remains unchanged. That is why we take fresh guard today.

Hope there are many more anniversaries…

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