Written by Bella Dalima
14 Jan, 2014 | 7:43 pm
An international conference on Media Self-Regulation and Ethical News Reporting is being held in Colombo.
The conference has been organised by the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka, in view of its tenth anniversary. The inaugural session of the conference which is being held until January 16, was held on Monday at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Strategic Studies.
Chairman of Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka, Kumar Nadesan shared these views;
” Ultimately a free and diverse media, applying professional principles, supports, promotes and strengthens democracy, nation building, social cohesion and good governance. At the core of our mission is the firm belief that only a free, independent and responsible media, with access to information, can play a critical role, in promoting good governance, facilitating citizen participation and debate and strengthening the government’s transparency and accountability. It follows that media has an obligation to truth, accuracy, balance and redress.
Adviser of (Communications and Information – Asia) UNESCO Iskra Panevska shared these thoughts:
” At a time when Sri Lanka is attempting to rebuild links that have been destroyed or lost through long years of war, the media plays a larger role in facilitating a dialogue of understanding and reconciliation. However, due to various constraints placed on the media from outside sources or even inside from stifling fetters put in place by itself, the public loses out on an unbiased and informed discourse that could bring about real amity between communities as well as between government and citizens.”
Secretary of UK Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, Ian Beales expressed views:
“In my view, journalistic self-regulation and ethics should set sensible, simple and deliverable standards, that can be reasonably required and enforced. Individual editors and publishers are always free to set higher moral standards, should they wish. The system should be genuinely self-regulated in which independence from the state and other vested interests is guaranteed.”
Emeritus Professor of Law from University of Colombo, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere said:
“In developing countries in particular, the concept of development itself is often the ideology that is used to undermine and attack the concept of the free flow of information. And in that context, governments in particular and even non-state actors, argue that freedom of information and freedom of the press undermines the capacity for economic growth, development, and that therefore, social responsibility of the media means the right of the state to control the media and restrict the media. In the process of asking for a responsible press. There is also manipulation of that idea to regulate, and create an undemocratic environment.”
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