Written by Tharushan Fernando
05 Jul, 2015 | 8:55 pm
The first ever News 1st U-Report Eagle Awards, held at the Co-Operative Auditorium in Matara on July 5, appreciated the service rendered to citizen journalism by News 1st U-Reporters.
Awards were presented to News 1st U-Reporters from the Southern Province where more than a thousand U-Reporters graced the awards ceremony. The awards ceremony was held under the auspices of representatives of the senior management of the Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited.
CEO of Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd., Mohan Barara, stated that in a country information is the most important thing but that information if it is not facts; if it is not the truth then that can create many problems. He said that as a media organization, since News 1st believes in the truth and cannot be everywhere, the extended family becomes important.
He added that they may be a large organisation but even any large organisation also has to depend on all its family members to help in the mission of bring gout the truth and bringing out the facts to bring out any evil that is happening in society, so that those who can correct it are able to correct it.
Channel Head of Sirasa TV Chandana Sooriyabandara added that they have a responsibility to build the nation and society through politics. He further expressed that fulfilling this responsibility means fraudsters, drug peddlers, ethanol smugglers, rapists and others who are engaged in acts of social vices who are hidden among society must be brought down by us, noting that at the next parliamentary election people who can build a nation where human values and a sense of humanity reign supreme should be brought forward.
Upul Mahesh received the award from the Galle District while Lalith Padmasiri and Roshan Rajika received the awards from the Matara and Hambantota districts, respectively. Nine News 1st U-reporters qualified for the final round from the Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts, for their work in citizen journalism in 2013 and 2014.
U-Reporter for the Galle District, Upul Mahesh stated he knew of eight schools that had been closed down and unscrupulous activity was taking place in some of the abandoned schools. He noted that such things must be stopped and that this was highlighted through Sirasa and News 1st. Today, he said, these schools and community halls are being used for good.
U-Reporter for Hambantota District, Roshan Rajika stated that he calls upon everyone to come forward and highlight what they see, the injustices and unfairness and move forward with the channel.
U-Reporter for Matara District, Lalith Padmasiri noted that he used a small camera he had on me to record the heroics of four soldiers who risked their lives to save two young children from the river at the Mahanama bridge in Matar. He added that ordinarily, it would not have gone to any media but that Sirasa that gave them this right.
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