Thursday, April 16, 2015

Desperate Need for a new Media Culture in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known as the place where “Arakku Botalayata Liyana Warthakaru” live, and we must change that!

Except for a few talented young females, like Dharisha Bastians, who was able to remove  the hollow Emperor Mahinda’s clothes by her writing skills for the FT, there are hardly any noteworthy reporters, especially in Sinhala, which is the language that matters for the masses, and which could change National Opinion, and more importantly attempt to educate this Mass of the basic principles of right and wrong, and thereby able to see good or evil of the actions of our  largely unscrupulous politicians.

Investigative Journalism, no easy art, and that which requires resources from a visionary Newspaper Owner to subsidize the cost of an investigation, is also sorely lacking in Sri Lanka.

It is also obvious that the end is nigh for many newspapers unable to survive due to the severe loss of Govt. advertising that kept them afloat for so long, and this advertising, bought the compliance of the papers, and their prostitute owners and editors to the cause of an increasing corrupt regime, with no scruples, morals or a care that they were wasting the current and future resources of the Country with their un-adulterated profligacy.

This strategy is further compounded by the fact that after the Tsunami that resulted in the Regime Change on January 8th, this gaggle of journalists have NOT been able to educate the readers to the obviously better environment for THEM, and therefore sing the praises of the ethos of this regime as compared with that of the previous. Instead they are merely using their new found freedom to present the MR point of view whenever they can, as that is permitted now, and blow up minor transgressions of the regime at every step, without reminding the readers, that they pale in comparison to the big time transgressions of the previous regime that they were prevented from reporting on, and which in comparison was grossly unforgivable.

It is time for a journalistic code of ethics that also require a compulsory program of study, and those who attain the highest knowledge are guaranteed a minimum monthly of Rs50,000, creating a culture of person, not dependent on being paid off by some unscrupulous politico, or business man NOT to report their wrongdoings but rise above that to report that which is for the public good.

We also have to educate the public in the ability to reason, as otherwise, like now they accept what they see, read and hear as gospel, and are NOT critical enough to analyze the angle of reportage. I know the international media are also not free from Bias, and they too have an agenda. However we have every reason to rise above that, and realize that we serve the local public to whom we OWE a sense of duty to report that which is right. This public then will have more faith in this profession, will create quality journalists who will join this profession, and eventually work to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Sri Lanka, by highlighting the wrong doings and prevention of the destruction of the environment and improving the caliber of those going into politics and bring an overall holistic improvement to all aspects of Sri Lankan life, a desperate need in a society, that is deteriorating, in whatever aspect one does a comparison of, beginning with the absence of being able to distinguish right from wrong.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is the bottom line that ultimately drives a newspaper in this capitalist system and so the paymasters will be the ones calling the shots in any media organization. Democracy is corrupted in many ways by money!