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Freedom of Expression, the Business of Media, and Society: Connecting the Dots

Monique Villa, Sidharth Bhatia & Hartosh Singh Bal
L to R: Monique Villa, Sidharth Bhatia, and Hartosh Singh Bal.

The Snowden files have re-ignited the global debate on freedom of expression around the world. In India, recent events have made the discussion even more relevant. As social media continues to transform the industry, the general public is increasingly raising questions on the objectivity and independence of the media. To what extent is content driven by the interests of corporations? And what are the links between corporate ownership and free speech?

Join leading practitioners in discussion as we aim to understand how to balance the need to run a sustainable media business while upholding open and free dialogue in the public space.

Monique Villa is a journalist and CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Founder of TrustLaw and Trust Women. She has been ranked among the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere. Villa spent the first part of her career at Agence France-Presse (AFP), where she held a number of senior journalistic and management positions. She reported from Paris, Rome, and London, where she was bureau chief from 1991 to 1996. She then became Director of Strategy and Business Development at AFP headquarters in Paris, with responsibility for the agency’s major partnerships worldwide. In 2008 Villa was appointed CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which stands for free, independent journalism, human rights, women’s empowerment, and the rule of law. 

Hartosh Singh Bal has recently joined The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture, as its Political Editor. He was previously Political Editor of the weekly magazine Open. Bal is the author of Waters Close Over Us: A Journey Along the Narmada and co-author of A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel. He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from BITS Pilani, India and a graduate degree in Mathematics from New York University.

Sidharth Bhatia is a journalist, columnist, and author with over three and a half decades of media experience. He was an Associate Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University from 2001-2004 and was previously an Editor with the English daily DNA. He currently writes and comments on current affairs and popular culture in several publications such as Times of India, Asian Age, Outlook, Seminar, Hindustan Times and also appears on national television. His latest book, India Psychedelic: The Story of a Rocking Generation, was published earlier this year. 

This programme is the second edition of our Censorship & Society series, which presents an array of perspectives on how rules about censorship in society are shaped while providing a shared dialogue on the topic. Previous events under this series include an AsiaLive discussion.

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Event Details

Thu 10 Apr 2014
6:00pm - 8:30pm

Venue: Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall, Bajaj Bhavan, Ground Floor, 226, Nariman Point, opposite Inox Cr2, Mumbai

Registration: Rs. 100. Free for Asia Society Members. RSVP required to: [email protected] Registration begins at 6:00 pm.