President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that the media should act in a responsible and acceptable manner while following media ethics and norms, so as to cultivate a positive attitude among people.
“Even though it is regrettable to mention that Sri Lankan media has not clearly understood the bounding duty of them. Therefore, it can be observed that the media has not part and parcel with the forward march of the country,” he noted.
The President made these remarks while addressing an evaluation ceremony of experts in the science and technology fields at the Waters’ Edge Hotel yesterday.
President Sirisena added that the quality of the media is essential and is of paramount importance for the country’s forward march to become a developed country. It is notable that media is duty bound to help in the country’s development programme.
“The quality and responsible conduct of media are vital for the country to stand on its own feet as a developed country.
“Therefore, the media should clearly understand their role and responsibilities. Even though,it can be
observed that certain sections of the Sri Lankan media is interested in digging garbage and very keen to report negative news such as murders, rape cases,disputes, communal issues etc. Besides, such media organizations want to bring political parties, which they support to power. They want to topple the democratically elected government. Such media builds the image of corrupt politicians while destroying the image of others,” he said.
Such a media culture is not available or cannot be seen anywhere in the world, the President added.
“The media has to play a broad role in the country’s forward march by building a strong media culture. The media is duty bound to inculcate good and noble qualities in people such as patriotism, social responsibilities, social-harmony, personnel and social responsibilities rather than arousing hatred, communalism, racism etc. But, it can be seen that the headlines of certain news papers always carry news relating to hatred, conflict and other negative items,” the President said.
“Accordingly, the first page of a newspaper is so powerful as it is strong enough to drive a country forward towards a strong goal,” he added.
He further added that the policy of the government is to facilitate the media and media personnel so as to strengthen media freedom. The government is duty bound to protect and safeguard media freedom and media personnel aiming to protect the right to information of the people. The President requested all experts in various fields, educated people,scientists etc to take responsibility to steer the country towards sustainable development.