N. Ram is Director, THG Publishing Private Limited, The Hindu Group’s publishing company, and has been in the media field since 1966. He is former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu , Frontline , BusinessLine , and Sportstar of The Hindu group of publications, and former Chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited.
N. Ram did his schooling at the Madras Christian College, Chennai, took his B.A. in History from Loyola College, Chennai and his M.A. in History (with a First) at the Presidency College, Chennai. He has an M.S. in Comparative Journalism, with Honors, from the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University.
His areas of special journalistic interest include Indian politics; aspects of India’s foreign policy and nuclear policy; external pressures on India’s economic and political sovereignty; issues of corruption and abuse of power; the challenge of communalism and fundamentalism in India; the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis and India’s interaction with it; freedom of expression issues, and the role of media in society.
N. Ram led The Hindu’s investigation into the Bofors arms deal corruption scandal. His investigation, in association with Chitra Subramaniam and others in The Hindu , was recognized by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism during its centennial celebrations in 2012 as one of ‘50 Great Stories reported, investigated, produced, filmed, edited, photographed, anchored, and/or tweeted by Columbia journalists’ over the century.
In 1980-81, he did an extended investigation and analysis of the conditionalities of India’s controversial SDR 5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement with the International Monetary Fund.
Honours and awards include the Padma Bhushan (for journalism), 1990; the Asian Investigative Journalist of the Year Award from the Press Foundation of Asia (1990); the B.D. Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism (1989); the National Citizen’s Award (1995); XLRI’s First JRD Tata Award for Business Ethics (2002); and Sri Lanka Ratna, Sri Lanka’s highest National Honour conferred on non-nationals (2005).
N. Ram is author, Why Scams are Here to Stay, Aleph Book Company, 2017 , co-author with Susan Ram of the biography, R.K. Narayan: The Early Years, 1906-1945 , Penguin India, New Delhi, 1996; and the author of Riding the Nuclear Tiger , a Signpost publication, LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 1999. His research publications include studies of “The Nuclear Dispute: An Indian Perspective” and “An Independent Press and Anti-Hunger Strategies: The Indian Experience,” the latter published in a book, The Political Economy of Hunger, Volume-1: Entitlements and Well-being , ed. Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990. A 15,000-word essay, “The Great Indian Media Bazaar: Emerging Trends and Issues for the Future,” has been published in India: Another Millennium? edited by Romila Thapar, Viking, Penguin India, New Delhi, 2000.
He was elected President of the Contemporary India Section of the 72nd session of the Indian History Congress, which was held in Patiala during December 10-13, 2011, and gave an address on “The Changing Role of the News Media in Contemporary India” (https://www.thehindu.com/news/resources/n-rams-address-on-media-at-the-indian-history-congress/article59962441.ece)
He is closely associated, as a founding trustee of the Media Development Foundation (MDF), with the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai, which is India’s, and South Asia’s, premier post-graduate journalism education institution. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York.
N. Ram is a former member of the National Integration Council and of the India-China Eminent Persons Group. He is the president of Harmony India, Chennai, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of communal harmony and secularism.