On Friday, Press Trust of India (PTI), the country’s leading news agency, appointed senior journalist Vijay Joshi as its Editor-in-Chief. In his previous role, Joshi was Associated Press’ Southeast Asia Director of News overseeing the reputed agency’s coverage of the region. Following the retirement of MK Razdan, who served as both the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of PTI, the agency required a seasoned journalist to helm its editorial operations. The agency comprises a solid network of over 900 editors, reporters and stringers.
Speaking to exchange4media, Venky Venkatesh, CEO of PTI, explained that a selection committee consisting of directors and headed by the chairman is responsible for the appointment. As part of the process, the committee considered “lots of people” and finally settled on the choice of Joshi who had earlier worked with PTI during the 1980s.
Post the separation of the offices of Editor-in-Chief and CEO, PTI is headed for dual leadership. “This has been done to focus on editorial separately and have a different focus on administration and business,” said Venkatesh who joined PTI in July last year. He mentioned that PTI wasn’t the “odd one out” as most companies functioned precisely how the agency was going to work from now onwards.
In February 2016, when the selection process for the new Editor-in-Chief began prior the retirement of Razdan, there were reports that the government was apparently pushing the candidature of three journalists, namely, Ashok Malik, KA Badrinath and Shishir Gupta. The three are perceived as being closely aligned with the BJP.
During his long stint with AP, Joshi shuttled between the continents of Asia and Africa as he worked out of Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Joshi acquired higher education in the field of geology but opted to work as a sub-editor at The Indian Express after obtaining a degree in journalism from Hyderabad’s Osmania University.