For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
By Nirmala Kannangara
The government’s decision to set up a Media Development Authority is an attempt to suppress the private media, a senior newspaper editor told The Sunday Leader.
He opined that the government’s move to set up a Media Development Authority reeks of suppression as state intervention in any media matter would lead to complications.
Editor of the Lankadeepa newspaper Siri Ranasinghe said that there is no necessity to set up an authority to introduce guidelines in accordance with media ethics, as there are quite enough media foundations to look after media ethics in the country.
“We have the Editor’s Guild, the Free Media Movement and the Sri Lanka Press Institute to ensure and guide media ethics so why worry setting up an authority? The initiative is certainly dubious,” Ranasinghe told The Sunday Leader.
However Director General, Information Department, Prof. Ariyaratne Athugala said that the decision to set up an authority was to help journalists in the print and electronic media to enhance their journalism skills and was not to impose any harsh regulatory mechanism.
“We have seen as to how some media institutions have gone astray. The setting up of such an authority would certainly help guide local media institutions to improve media ethics,” Athugala told The Sunday Leader.