Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“A vast drop in the GDP” – Should the newspapers report such asinine statements without reservation?

I attach a link to an article in the Daily News today, taken from a political statement, that bears no basis in reality, made by the firebrand Communist DEW Gunesekera at a political meeting.

I have not seen the equivalent report in the Dinamina, but I assume a similar report would appear. Knowing the fact that the Media is now free and Independent and the Lake House Newspapers are now more balanced, actually reporting what opponents of the Govt. say, a far cry from the MR administration of the past, should it have come with a caveat with the actually facts as published by the Central Bank?

Any reasonable person would know that the GDP of Sri Lanka has NOT fallen as alleged. However the reader who is none the wiser would believe this statement as there has NOT been an explanation of the facts. Further if one reads the article one can see the unconscionable statements attributed to Mr Gunesekera, and frankly it is the DUTY of the journalist to counter these grossly incorrect statements. Is this what the Govt. means when they say the Media gives too much publicity to the MR side, without even checking on the facts?

Whose fault is this? Should Lake House vet what the journalist writes and makes corrections? Or give their journalists free reign to report as they see fit. No responsible journalist would just report a statement that is CLEARY untrue, without making a caveat and stating facts with reference to the CB report on the GDP figures. Is this because we still don’t have journalists who can honestly call themselves that, and are mere reporters reporting what they heard or taped from a press conference.

It is time journalists standards are improved all across the Country to make them understand the harm it can do to perception by such reporting. I am endlessly at odds with people who parrot things they have read in the local press, and I have to be at pains to explain the truth and reality.

All journalist MUST attend workshops conducted by an independent body on improving their skills and they need to get some credits for that and a certificate after their participation, which is then logged in some journalists database, where the public have access to, to check how educated, and believable the writer is on that topic, or if he is merely a reporter of parrot’s sayings!    

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Govt must complain to the Press Complaints Commission on this poor reporting. At least they will look into it and wrap the knuckles!