The role of National Newspapers
It was our privilege
yesterday to highlight on our main pages a speech by ANCL
Chairman Bandula Padmakumara, which puts the record straight on
the actual state of affairs of this illustrious organization
which is Lake House, referred to fondly and reverentially in
Sinhala as the ‘Pattara Maha Gedera'.
The ANCL Chairman's New Year message to the employees of Lake
House speaks for itself and we hardly need add anything to what
he has presented to the public so lucidly and simply.
However, in view of the apparent confusion in some quarters
on the role of National Newspapers and their true worth it would
be in order, we believe, to dwell awhile on the character and
role of the main newspapers published by Lake House and on the
concept of a National Newspaper.
At the outset, it should be stated emphatically that we at
ANCL take profound pride in working for the principal newspapers
of ANCL, which embody and advocate the public interest. The
newspapers of ANCL are, unswervingly obliged to work towards the
interests of the people and the principal newspapers published
by ANCL, including, of course, the ‘Daily News’, are focused on
this task. This is the essence of a truly National Newspaper and
although income and earnings are vitally important, our
importance as a principal Lake House newspaper cannot be
assessed entirely in terms of Rupees and cents. Our importance
far transcends these monetary concerns. Our true importance
resides in the crucial role we play in advocating and achieving
the legitimate interests of the people. Hence, the aptness in
describing newspapers, such as, the ‘Dinamina’, ‘Silumina’, ‘The
Thinakaran’, ‘Varamanjari’, the ‘Sunday Observer’ and the ‘Daily
News’ as National Newspapers in the true sense of that phrase.
Accordingly, the success of the main publications of ANCL needs
to be assessed, ideally, in terms of how effectively the public
and even the national interest is advocated and achieved by
them. In this respect, we cannot be faulted although we are
occasionally at the receiving end of some brickbats thrown by
unenlightened minds, who do not understand our functions.
Nevertheless, we know for a fact that ANCL's main
publications are a ‘must read’ for the majority of the public
because we give them the news and views which are of the utmost
importance for the conduct of their lives.
Considering the foregoing, it could be said that our
journalistic practice is synonymous with that highly important
brand of journalism which is referred to as Development
Journalism, which is, of course, vitally needed in a developing
country such as ours. The Development Journalist, it must be
clarified, does not merely mechanically record development
related happenings and events of the country, but also comments
insightfully on them and highlights as to how they positively
impact the people. Needless to say, this is an illustrious and
socially-important function and is usually at variance with
those models of journalism which give pride of place to
sensationalism and superficial thrills.
Our development function casts a heavy responsibility on us
to be socially relevant always and to give pride of place to the
national interest. This role we take on with a deep sense of
gratification because it should be a matter of pride to the
Fourth Estate to be a champion of the people's interests.
Accordingly, it is on how well we carry out these vital
functions that our journalistic exertions need to be assessed.
Considering that we are guided by the public interest our
newspapers truly deserve the nomenclature, National Newspapers.
On this basis, it could be said that our best judges are the
public and not those vested interests who are seeking to
undermine the national interest.
2012 - The Year of Humanity?
It has been a fervent belief of mine that a
Nation should not be recognized only for its achievements but also
for its compassion. This applies to the community of nations as
well. When the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban
Ki-moon commenced his tenure in early 2007, he brought with him his
mission statement which is “promises should be made for the keeping”
The Human Dimension
Your resolutions for 2012
Giving up a bad habit as a new year resolution
often brings with it the kind of benefits you will notice both
physically and mentally. It is best to start small on breaking
vicious cycles – whether breaking a bad habit or introducing a new
good habit. Some of us make a new year resolution to spend more time
with loved ones, especially ones spending the evening of their lives
Sri Lanka brimming with promise
Sri Lanka is a founding member of the Non
Aligned Movement, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in Belgrade
in September 2011. The aim of the NAM has been to work towards a
more multi-polar world order. Our country continues to work towards
this goal, particularly through organizations like the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was not so long ago the
Shanghai 5 and we value the BRIC group, which became the BRICS with
the inclusion of South Africa,
Back to Basics
Predicting prediction for 2012
Having peace around you and within you will mean
that you will have the time to reflect on conservatory ways to make
the most of the resources and opportunities we have to reduce
stress, be content and healthy. The Buddha word and all other
religious leaders said, that would make each of us a person, mindful
and caring. What more can we wish to be, than being content,
healthy, mindful and caring of all beings and things around us,