Anand is IT Editor of the leading Indian newspaper, The Hindu.
He graduated in Information and Systems Engineering from Birmingham University in the UK and was a scientist with India's Defence Research and Development laboratories before moving to journalism. He was awarded the Panos-GKP prize at the 2003 WSIS conference in Geneva for a story about e-literacy.
What is the role of journalism for development?
My base in the southern Indian state of Kerala for many years gave me the opportunity to report on and experience development issues at first hand. In India, the media has been a powerful catalyst for change, and the freedom that the press enjoys here has ensured that reporting on minority issues, including development or environment concerns has always been possible – indeed most mainstream newspapers and television can claim credit for stimulating change for the better through some of their exposures and campaigns. The media has been an organ of change.
Are there any problems in the development reporting that should be addressed in India?
It must be said that the independent TV news channels have been more successful than the print media in highlighting gross abuses of the development process and seeing affirmative action being taken. The internet has also proved to be a huge asset and certainly for a journalist today, access to information – especially reliable technical information – makes the job of reporting hotspots much easier than a decade ago. But has this in fact reduced the number of such crises? It’s too soon to tell.