Dec 05, 2017

LeN ban is futile – media minister Featured

Media censorship is irrelevant in the 21st century, banning a website is futile and attempting to do so is a setback, says media minister Mangala Samaraweera.

He referred to the ban imposed on lankaenews website during a speech he gave at a programme titled ‘politics in media’ and held by the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association today (05).

Samaraweera noted that proxies could be used, which he was now doing to read LeN news, even though a website could be blocked for a short period.

Politics-media clashes are essential

According to him, clashes between politics and the media are an essential requisite for democracy, but insisted that neither party should try to overpower the other.

Quoting from a book titled ‘Constructive News’, which is the outcome of a survey by the US and the UN, he said the most trusted profession was nursing, followed by the medical profession.

No better than the other

Politics was at the bottom, which was accepted by all as a fact, but journalism is not any better, occupying the position just above politics, said the media minister.

He said it should be found out why politicians and journalists have become least trusted by society.

Democracy would be dealt a big blow if journalism, one of the pillars in society, collapse after politics, he said.

Samaraweera also quoted from a book written by the late journalist Gunadasa Liyanage and said clashes between politics and the media were an essential requisite for democracy.

However, neither party should try to overpower the other to strike a blow to democracy, he added.

State media is more balanced than private media

The minister also said that balancing the media was made possible in the past two and a half years, after it had remained tamed by the previous regime as its followers.

He stressed what prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at an international conference yesterday on preventing crimes against journalists and said heads of media institutions were working to bring media repression back again.

According to him, the state media is more balanced than the private media in news presentation now.

MangalaS1 900px 17 12 05