Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana said the media has to play a vital role in making a disciplined society, which is enriched with social and cultural values.
The Minister expressed these views as the Chief Guest at the launch of the book “Madhya Maga” held on 06 February at the National Library and Documentation Auditorium, Colombo.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister appreciated the compilation of the book Madhya Maga in Tamil language and translating it to Sinhala by journalist M. Indrajith, who is a Tamil language engaged journalist.
The Minister added that, since Sri Lanka is a country of diverse ethnic groups, it is important to compile books in two languages.
“So, in such a situation, senior journalist M. Indrajith, who published a book written in Tamil into Sinhala, deserves our respect,” he added.
He said that, today there is a discourse about the country’s media, especially social media. It is said that some media are overdoing it. Today there are accusations that there is a type of media in the country that is very uncomfortable, regardless of the social level of a group or person. Because of this, those involved in the media should be aware of their responsibilities.
“It is helpful to refer to such books for improving and brushing up the knowledge in journalism. That is why we thank the author once again for writing such a book,” he added.
Former Media Minister MP Gayantha Karunathilaka said that there is one truth that should be respected by all those involved in journalism. That is, they should confirm the total accuracy of any news they report. Media personnel should be responsible for the truthfulness of a report they submit.
The last Government, through the “Right To Information ‘’ Act, made a very important task for the journalists which is very useful to the public. This Act gave special scope to journalists to inform the society about their work through investigative journalism.
“Apart from that, this opened up the opportunity for the public to know any matter from the public sector or the private sector,” he noted.
Addressing the gathering the former Information Director Ranga Kalansuriya pointed out that today many people are talking about the need to introduce a code of ethics for journalists.
“As journalists, you should also think about it. Is there a situation where you can watch a press conference today with your family members? In fact, it is impossible to watch it together. To save us from this situation, the Ministry of Mass Media, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are jointly working towards it.
A special project is already being implemented. A discourse has been built on how we can engage in more professional journalism,” he said.
Asian Media and Cultural Association (AMCA) Chairman Upul Janaka Jayasinghe and several others spoke on this occasion. The event was attended by professionals in the Media industry, senior journalists from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in India.