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Sensational reporting dominates Lankan media

Sri Lankan media is presently dominated by sensational news reporting owing to the harsh competition in editorship and consequently the provincial journalists are constantly persuaded by the media institutions in rousing news coverage which in turn generates an unhealthy public mentality filled with shock and fright, Director General of Information Prof. Ariyarathne Ethugala said.


Director General of Information Prof. Ariyarathna Ethugala lights the oil lamp to mark the inauguration of the seminar. Galle District Secretary Ravindra Hewawitharane and Director of Information Wasantha Priya Ramnayaake, Galle Additional District Secretary Malani Lokupothagama were present.

He made this observation at a seminar on the role of Provincial Journalists for District Development conducted by Department of Government Information at the Hall De Galle in Galle facilitated by Galle District Secretariat.

The term provincial journalist is a clichéd phrase in present day context. Today provincial correspondents play a prominent role in journalism. They perform a great professional obligation in the current complicated social order. The regional media men in our day carry out their professional commitment beyond the narrow limits of regionalism, turning out them to be universal journalists, he further said.

In that context, the regional journalists have a gigantic social responsibility in their media involvement for which they should be well experienced and well-informed and fortified with intense intelligence over every social issue, Prof. Ethugala added.

He also observed that presently there was high competition in the editorship forcing every editor to be excessively concerned over the leading news headline of his or her paper in the competition of buy and sell of sensational news coverage in which the editor's rights and liberties are sorrowfully challenged.

The present day Sri Lanka journalism has evolved into "Yellow Journalism," a media culture that was initiated in the middle part of 1700 in the UK which gave prominence for emotional news reporting which adversely affected the public mindset.

Presently, it has become the common media practice to satisfy the human likes and dislikes giving main concern over highly sensational reports. I think a highly productive national dialogue is essential over this concept, the Director General said.

We have media freedom. But it is highly relaxed which is socially infertile. If we do not proceed towards a more prescribed media culture, the future citizen would be robotic and ailing in all aspects.

Today's media makes the already spiritually and emotionally spoiled civilian more flawed through irrational journalism.

The current media is full of ignorance and falsehood. The time is opportune to create widespread constructive discussions on these issues and a national strategy to remedy the ills of media should be formulated and implemented through the collective efforts of all concerned, I propose, he said.

Galle District Secretary Ravindra Hewawitharane, Information Director Wasantha Priya Ramanayake and Planning Director Puspa Malalasekara also spoke.

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