It is great stupidity if Editors, News Editors, Features Editors, Senior reporters and Media Directors of national Newspapers and the Electronic Media believe that media is above reproach.
Posted on July 28th, 2012

By Professional Analyst – Canada, 28.07.2012.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance Journalist/Journalism” cannot be killed in Sri Lanka by these media bandits.

From the comments made by a reader, (Ref: Groundviews.com2012/07/24/whither-sri-lankas-media/)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I begin my contribution of thoughts to that wonderful presentation of the reality of the plight of Journalism in Sri Lanka.

In fact, there is nothing more to indulge, because the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-messageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ has been unraveled in the content and there cannot be any scrutiny of the facts, yet as a freelance journalist, I wish to add some comments that may be worthwhile to present under this glare of facts about Sri Lankan journalism that has been published.

The comments made by a reader, I quote below ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-A few veteran journalists some writing from overseas only touch on the fringes of controversial subjects, they are either paid or frightenedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. The simplest form of definition of Journalism is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news and broadly it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles (Wikiquote). Journalism applies to various media, but is not limited to newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.

A simpler definition is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Journalism is a form of writing that tells people about things that really happened, but that they might not have known about already. Such category of writers emerged too as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

Looking back at the history of Sri Lankan journalism, journalists have evolved since the publication of the Colombo Journal on the 1st., of January 1832 as a government publication. After the closure of the Colombo Journal, The Observer and the Commercial AdvertiserƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, were published on 4th February 1834.

This was the commencement of the Observer newspaper which is still published in Sri Lanka. With the need for more news to be disseminated among the British and the English educated elite, the English publications increased to 13 publications.

The power of newspapers emerged in the political horizon of Ceylon then. With the winds of nationalism growing among the locals and the need for a change of the British rule and better governance in Ceylon, the dedicated writers to the papers increased. They were the Freelance writers who contributed their thoughts in moulding the Nation to the call of Independence of the country.

In the aftermath of the formation of a new nationalist government in 1956, the 1972 constitutional change and the July riots of 1983, Journalism began to polarize as government and anti-government journalism grouping ethnic writers to support their causes.

All norms of journalistic codes and ethics were violated in the struggle to drive their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-messageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ to their interest groups. Yet, the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ from the beginning, continued their yeoman services, especially at times of need to defend the integrity and sovereignty of the country from where ever they were domiciled, living in Sri Lanka or abroad, respecting the journalistic code and ethics. Indeed they were not paid or were they frightened.

I quote a paragraph from this wonderful article ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-There are many people who have been journalists for more than 40 years now living in abject poverty ( some doing well too); there are many who are forced to work well past their retirement age because even the small income they can get is better than no income at all. Past their prime and in ill health, their former glories are long forgotten and they come to be looked on more as a nuisance than people who once contributed meaningfully to the media in the country.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- This is REAL.

Many ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ belong to this group in the present generation. In the last two decades, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ played a major role in countering the on-slaughter of the foreign and international media against the Sri Lanka governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s war against the LTTE. They burnt their night lamps and instantly produced rebuttals and content with truth and facts that were published in a very few print media, many in the popular internet news domains. They had a passion for writing and they were the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Soldiers of the PenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ who fought back barrage of false information and anti-government lobbies. They were not given space in the media in their own motherland.

The local Editors and Media gatekeepers did not respect their commitment in the defence of their Motherland. Even in the in the aftermath of the victory over the LTTE, in May 2009,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ not even their comments were given a chance for publication. But they were the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Soldiers of the PenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ who stood the heat and faced the challenges because they were ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. They were not writing for money or a bottle of arrack. They were writing because they were true sons and daughters of Mother Sri Lanka.

When the courageous security forces were fighting the brutal ruthless LTTE war machinery in Sri Lanka, it was these ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freelance JournalistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ who were fighting the anti-Sri Lanka mass media abroad, not the media bandits mentioned above. These media bandits were and are still in the “pay off” of the anti Sri Lanka international media campaigns and the INGO’s, NGO’s and diplomatic missions who want to further the cause of the LTTE ideology nationally and internationally.

It was a very few internet news domains that gave all the support to publish the content that was written by these men and women, not the national newspapers or internet publications of these so-called leading news publications, because, the so-called journalists bandits belonged to a creed that lack the understanding of their responsibility towards society and the need to be on the side of the people and not on the side of high and mighty whose opinions are forced down the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s throats day and night in a media driven frenzy, who have side lined them totally.

Believing the media is above reproach (as the writer has mentioned) is the greatest stupidity of these Editors, News Editors, Features Editors, Senior reporters and Media Directors of our Newspapers and the electronic Media.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Freelance Journalist/Journalism” cannot be killed in Sri Lanka by these media bandits. The time is ripe now for the government of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa to recognize the services of these Freelance Journalists and Freelance Journalism and to support thoseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Internet-webƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ News sites who gave space to these “Soldiers of the Pen” to defend Mother Sri Lanka, to defend our “Maathrooboomiya” during difficult times.

2 Responses to “It is great stupidity if Editors, News Editors, Features Editors, Senior reporters and Media Directors of national Newspapers and the Electronic Media believe that media is above reproach.”

  1. M.S.MUDALI Says:

    Dont cry like a fool. You justify the arson, murder, killings and robberies of 1983 riots against Tamls. Then what what the hell you have to bark?

  2. noor nizam Says:

    Freelance Journalists are not fools. They are an educated, knowledgeable lot who have a dedication to their commitment and to their profession. Journalist does not write their content based on their feelings when they engage with an issue. If Freelance journalists write what they feel for themselves (their opinion), then they are not journalists. An example of this code is clearly stated in the Norms of Journalistic Conduct – Principles and Ethics – 2005 edition, Clause ii) of the Press Council of India which clearly indicates this code. Journalists and columnists owe a very special responsibility to their country in promoting communal peace and amity. Their writings are not a mere reflection of their own feelings but help to a large extent in moulding the feelings and sentiments of the society at large. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that they use their pen with circumspection and restrain. If Freelance journalists/journalists have written contradictory to this commitment, they are NOT journalists, but just reporters or writers. It seems to me/I have to presume, that your few words of arrogance and the un-journalistic manner (language used) in which you have made your comments/opinion are not coming from a respectable journalist or a member of a respectable society. In deed you have written this comment with rage and anger. Journalist cannot do so. In your own language, you have indeed “barked” at my article. I am only contributing these comments as my right of “REPLY”.

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