The Journey of a Journalist
Posted on December 5th, 2009

By Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Professor of mass communications emeritus Minnesota State University Moorhead

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 1) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” FROM VILLAGE BOY TO GLOBAL CITIZEN

Monday, September 14th, 2009
By Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
My great ambition as a 15-year-old child was to become ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-one of the outstanding statesmen of the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ and to go overseas to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-get acquainted with foreigners and their ways of life.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ These revelations appeared in a regular ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-What I want to beƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s feature published in a Colombo daily on […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 2) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” CUTTING MY JOURNALISTIC TEETH AT LAKE HOUSE

Monday, September 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
I, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Weligama PoddaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ from Pathegama, was on the way to becoming a global citizen. My knowledge in Buddhist philosophy tells me, however, that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ is the wrong term to use because a characteristic of existence is anatta (no-self).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ implies a permanent soul. So the reference here is to the stream of […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 3A) -THE YEAR THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: THE BEGINNING

Monday, September 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.
These two lines from ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-A Tale of Two CitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ written by my favorite English novelist Charles Dickens aptly describe the contrasting conditions in Ceylon, which I left in August 1966, and […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 3B) -THE YEAR THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: THE RESIGNATION

Monday, September 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
The World Press Institute made arrangements for me to work with the Eugene Register-Guard in Oregon on a 10-week internship (Feb, 6 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” April 14, 1967).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  When the news of my internship reached Fred W. Welty, who served as the information chief at the USIS in Colombo in the mid ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”60s, he […]

Journey of a Journalist (Part 4AB) -PILING HIGH AND DEEP IN JOURNALISMƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚DOING THE MA AND PHD

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
My aim was to become a journalist-scholar although my childhood ambition was to be a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-renowned statesman.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (Well, arenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t statesmen a breed of scholars?) I was determined to enrich my journalistic skills with a sound understanding of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-social scienceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of mass communicationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the academic study of the various means by which individuals […]

Journey of a Journalist (Part 4C) -PILING HIGH AND DEEP IN JOURNALISMƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚AN EXCURSUS

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
I returned to Ceylon on Aug. 14, 1971ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚five years after I left on the WPI fellowship. More than six months later, on Feb. 27, 1972, after collecting all the data I needed, I left Ceylon for the second time to land in America to complete my quest for the degree of doctor […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 5A)-GLOBAL CITIZEN: DRIFTING FROM AMERICA TO MALAYSIA

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
In Therigatha, bhikkuni Vajira is said to have responded to Mara:
ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.
In retrospect, I find my quest for a PhD in journalism and mass communication and the subsequent travel across oceans in quest of […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 5B) -GLOBAL CITIZEN: TEACHING JOURNALISM AND GETTING MARRIED IN MALAYSIA

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
Vincent Lowe, Dean Sharom AhmatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s emissary from the School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, welcomed me at the Penang airport. He took me to the campus and gave me some idea of the universityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s communication program. I stayed the first three nights at the colonial seaside hotel, the Eastern & Orient. Then […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 5C) -GLOBAL CITIZEN: FROM PENANG TO DOWN UNDER

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
On the last Sunday of November 1974, just after my parents had left Malaysia to return to Sri Lanka, an incident that occurred at the beachside garden of Rasa Sayang Hotel in Batu Ferrenghi devastated meƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚a clear reminder that exceeding the middle path would rebound in accelerating dukkha.
ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Leslie Allen, an avuncular New […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 6A) -PHASE OF OZ: ORIENTALISM AND EUROCENTRISM

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
I landed in Sydney as an immigrant on May 1, 1976, to settle down in tropical Queensland. We (my spouse and I) decided that Australia, not Sri Lanka, would be the better place for an inter-racial couple to raise a family. Had we chosen Sri Lanka, both money and language problems would […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 6B) -PHASE OF OZ: DOING AND TEACHING JOURNALISM

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
During my decade in Australia, one of my major newspaper articles appeared in the national daily, The Australian, as its featured Forum column on Feb. 23, 1977. The article, which appeared with both my byline and picture, was headlined ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Telling the Third World like it is.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ It was an attempt to explain […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 6C) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” PHASE OF OZ: FOUR WINDS, ODDS AND ENDS

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
The teething problems of teaching journalism at the CIAE arose out of the fear of the administrators that publication of student writing might taint the image of the institute, particularly its administrators. ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s why they scuttled my original attempt to publish student-written news in the Morning Bulletin.
CIAE Director Arthur Appleton was an […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 7) -MY RETURN TO MINNESOTA

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On a Wednesday morning (April 17, 1985), as I rose from the bed, I got an unexpected telephone call from Moorhead State University (which became Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2000) inquiring whether I was interested in the advertised vacancy in journalism. Martin Grindeland, the new chairman of the mass communications department, […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 8) -MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO COMMUNICATION SCHOLARSHIP

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
As I asserted at the start of this series, I was born to be a journalist. I became a prolific and challenging scholar only during the final decade before my retirement. I will leave it up to a younger researcher to sort and analyze all of my journalistic and scholarly output. I […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 9A) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” A SECOND INTERNSHIP IN ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”STEP LANDƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
By ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-step landƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ I mean America, the land that adopted me. By motherland I mean Sri Lanka, the land of my birth. My claim to be a world citizen derives from my blend as a cultural mix of these two countries and, to a lesser extent, of the countries where I worked […]

The journey of a journalist (Part 9B) -A SECOND INTERNSHIP IN MOTHERLAND: LAST FLING AT LAKE HOUSE

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Shelton A. Gunaratne ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ My last fling with Lake House (June 4-Aug. 16, 1991) did not work out as well as I expected because ANCL failed to honor the terms of a paid internship as stipulated by the ASNE. Observer editor H. L. D. Mahindapala expected ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-donatedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ labor at his disposal and presumed that the ASNE […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 10A) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ADVISING ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”YANKEE DOODLESƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ AND ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”CONSULTINGƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ IN COLOMBO

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
Happawana lies east of Galle on A17, the road that leads to Imaduwa and beyond.
At the junction where you get off the bus, a gravel road forking southward across a vast rice paddy implicitly entices you to cross over to the other side to enjoy the salubrious breeze sweeping through the paddy […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 10B) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”CONSULTINGƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”COLOMBO-STYLE AND SHARING NOSTALGIA

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
[N.B.: I wrote part of this installment with my Peradeniya campus contemporaries of the late ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢50s and early ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”60s in mind. Others may not find much significance in the names mentioned.]ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 
ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On my return to Sri Lanka from travels Down Under, my operational headquarters shifted from Happawana to the Lodge, also called the […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 11A) -TEACHING ENGLISH COMPOSITION IN TIANJIN

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
On the last Friday afternoon of April 1994, David Klos and I walked to the shopping street on Nankai University campus, just behind the wall that separates Nankai from Tianjin University. There, while a street barber gave me a haircut for ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚¥ 2.50 (or 29 U.S. cents), Klos settled on a stool […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 11B) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” DOUBLE-DIPPING IN TIANJIN

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
My sojourn in China was part of my first sabbatical, which meant paid leave. In the 1990s, Moorhead State had an exchange program with Tianjin University in China that encouraged faculty on sabbatical to participate in this program. Tianjin agreed to pay me a supplementary salary of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚¥ 1,500 per month and […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 12A) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” A SUMMER STINT BACK IN MALAYSIA

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
I returned to Malaysia as an educational consultantƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚an external examiner for the department of communication (Jabatan Komunikasi) at ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚more than two decades after I left my lectureship at Universiti Sains Malaysia (Science University).
Mohd Safar Hasim, head of the UKM department of communication, was at the Subang Airport in […]

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 12B) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” EXAMINING IN BANGI AND OBSERVING CHANGES

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
As the external examiner in communication studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the summer of 1997, I agreed to perform two tasks:

To submit a report evaluating the UKM communication studies program based on criteria relevant to Asia in general, and Malaysia in particular.
To teach a three-hour graduate class in International Communication on […]

Epilogue: The Journey of a Journalist ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” A TRIBUTE TO ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”PUNCHI HAMINE,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ MY MOTHER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

By Shelton A. GunaratneƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚©2009
BRISBANE, Australia, 8 Nov. 2009: I arrived in Brisbane a few days ago to see my mother lying on a bed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-livingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ her last [?] days at the Mater Hospital. The five khandhas (aggregates)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚material formƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  (rupa), sensation (vedana), perception (sanna), mental formations (sankhara) and consciousness (vinnana)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚constituting my mother (in the Buddhist sense) […]

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