Communication 4 Transformation

A holistic approach is needed to promote media freedom in Sri Lanka Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, at the Launch of Media Sustainability Index 2017

“A holistic approach is needed to address issues affecting media freedom in Sri Lanka” said Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, Director General of Government Information, Ministry of Media in Sri Lanka. He expressed this view while participating as a keynote speaker at the launching ceremony of Media Sustainability Index – 2017.

Sri Lanka Development Journalist’s Forum (SDJF) and National Secretariat for Media Reform (NSMR) in partnership with the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) launched the Media Sustainability Index (MSI) – 2017 on the 16th of June 2017 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

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MSI 2017 is a study conducted by IREX in partnership with SDJF to understand the strengths and viability of Sri Lankan media sector, specifically on six key aspects of Sri Lankan Media – Freedom of Speech, Professional Journalism, Plurality of News Sources, Business Management, Media Supporting Institutions, and Serving Public Needs.

An effective policy that is conducive to media freedom and media pluralism and an enabling environment for viability are key elements to build public trust of media sector. Studies like MSI – 2017 and many more are needed in Sri Lanka. Civil society has a huge role to play in achieving media freedom in true sense. “Government is committed, and ready to facilitate any potential initiative lead by civil society to strengthen media sector in Sri Lanka” –   Dr. Kalansooriya added.

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Panellists such as Nalaka Gunawardena (Independent Consultant), M J R David (Senior Lecturer, University of Jayawardenepura) and Deepanjalie Abeywardena (Head of Media Research, Verite Research) also made their presentations at the launching ceremony.

Attending as a panellist, media consultant, critic, and researcher Nalaka Gunawardena noted that freedom of expression and freedom of speech is given to all the citizens in Sri Lanka. This is applicable to all the journalists. People in any country do expect media to play a responsible role to ensure people are well informed and freedom of expression is respected as a culture.

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M J R David, former BBC producer and senior lecturer at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura noted a practical and action oriented approach is needed for both government and civil society to strengthen independence of media. Government representatives need to demonstrate in a manner that they respect people’s right to know and people’s right to express.

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Deepanjalie Abeywardena, Head of Media Research, Verite Research observed that a serious debate and dialogue is needed to address violations of media ethics by the media.

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Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya, received the first copy of MSI – 2017 by M C Rasmin, Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Development Journalist Forum. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Pradeep N’ Weerasinghe, Chairperson, National Secretariat for Media Reform in Sri Lanka.

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For more information, please feel free to contact Thirukumar on 0772984219 or visit IREX website to get a copy of the Report- http://irex.org

 

 

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