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Protest in front of all printed and electronic media institutions

Protest in front of all printed and electronic media institutions

A silent protest was launched by artistes and civil society activists against unethical media practice today (10) in front of all print and electronic media in the country. In that instance they had covered their faces and had held black-coloured banners and even handed over a document asking to refrain from the clutches of unethical media practice. It is something to note that this letter was handed over to private institutions such as Hiru, Sirasa, Derana and other private institutions and
other state institutions such as the Lake House and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation outlining their stand.

There were a number of organisations who joined in this protest and by name they are, Women of Sri Lanka, New Wings, 'Aluth parapura', Shining hearts, 'Maruthaye handa', utter flies for democracy, Professional journalists association, 'Sadhu janarawa', Rise up Sri Lanka, Film Directors' association and Families of the disappeared. 

Contents of the letter handed over is as follows:
"Owners of media institutions, journalists,
We are on the alert about you!
What are you doing as a media owner or journalist? We have to remind you about media ethics once more as a party who are a part of the unconstitutional and anti-democratic conspiracy which took place last October 26th and have engaged in a violent type of reporting by even violating social values; thus destroying minimum social values. This violent procedures were not something that took place today or yesterday. But what is shown by the role played by your reporting specially after October 26th is that to what extent it is anti-lawful method of behaviour it is. It was hopes of the public of indulging in a least ethical and democratic process that the media engaged in by resorting to actions of representing unconstitutional and unlawful action of a specific political party and by justifying it. We wish to remind you particularly that you who engage in electronic journalism in enjoying and earning profits on assets of the public. For that reason the public has a right to question you about your actions. Under these circumstances we wish to remind you about misappropriation of your media as citizens in order to instil that right for purpose of an ethical conduct of the media. 

It is essential that accurate survey, reporting and proper information is correctly reported by you with responsibility. As an example, the judgement given by Supreme Court as the step taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament was reported by a certain media recently as unconstitutional as, "The General Election announced by President is opposed". This is not a reporting of the judgement ... but a total distortion of facts. By publishing fantastic news within this time period; the readers, and the reading public in total are subjected to misconception. 

It is not a secret that your politics and economic aspirations which see the light of day across marketing the media that the media should be independent". But it ought be mentioned that those aspirations are simply your as well as that of some others are narrow aspirations of the desire of the entire public or their necessities. Every story has two sides to it. Though it is not possible to report matters relevant for both those sides, it is your responsibility to expose the crux relevant to that story in an impartial and justified manner. 

All of us are tired enough by a thirty year civil war which the country was destined to undergo as a result of racial discrimination and ethical actions. In a land where seeds of racism has been sowed as a consequence of such procedures and political actions, you have a large responsibility to refrain from steering this country into that very same direction. 

Why do you avoid the responsibility transferred by history on you on behalf of reconciliation among races such as the Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and races and instead represent authoritative opinions nourish racism? At the same time it is evident that no statistical calculation is made about the fate that befalls the persecuted after most of your reportings. For instance, the series of photos relevant to the murder of a student by another schoolboy in Matara recently are displayed with violence being portrayed at its highest which goes to prove that operations of the media is absolutely disgusting. In the same manner, in reporting instances connected to women, children, homosexual community and other accused there no adherence seen where any conservative values are practised. As such we wish to exercise responsibility over media images and interpretation of words used by you. Responsibility should be carried out in giving a meaningful exercise of media. Such responsibility for a society who look forward for a justified, rational public who could live in peace and not for aspirations of a minority who are based on economic gains, we wish to remind you. 

Existence of the media rests on expression of speech which is inherent in democracy. Within an administration of authority, the journalistit is nothing different from a drum-beater. A meaning and value is added to your profession only if you care to safeguard democratic values of publications and news provided by you. Further, we wish to remind you that the licence issued to you as a media licence you possess to direct administration of the country. Accordingly, it is your responsibility to to safeguard social values within the entire media and enter into a dialogue in that connection and to operate in that respect. What we finally wish to say is ... that we are vigilant about you". 

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