Jan 07, 2019

Govt. accused of media repression through advertisements Featured

Social media has strongly criticized a government decision not to grant its advertisements to certain private media and described it as a clear case of media repression.

Colombo Telegraph editor Uvindu Kurukulasuriya said it went completely against the ‘Colombo Declaration’ that was supported by the prime minister.

He said however, that all those who opposed government policies, should oppose the biased media as well.

Kurukulasuriya quoted from the ‘Colombo Declaration’ which said, “We acknowledge that a media should be free not just of political control, but strive towards being free of under commercial influence and controls. While we recognize that media survives through commercial advertisements, we also acknowledge that there has been a global trend where commercial establishments attempt to pressurize media through withdrawal of advertisements, attempts at capturing editorial space etc. We will strive to maintain the independence of the media from such undue commercial influences, and in particular to ensure that the interests of commercial advertisements do not influence our editorial and news policy, or in any manner violate our integrity and objectivity in reporting.”

He noted that all media institutions in the country were signatories to the declaration, which is 20 years old.

He asked if those who spoke against a media repression by Ranil Wickremesinghe actually run a media free of intimidation, and noted that they never wrote against their advertisement providers.

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