Wednesday, February 21, 2018 06:11:34 PM

Govt Must Implement Its Promise of Bringing About Structural Independence of State Media

By - Mon May 02, 3:11 pm


Kishali Pinto Jayawardene

With a woeful history of repressive state regulation of the media still fresh in our collective memory, the ‘Yahapalanaya’ Government’s announcement this month that it will set up an ‘independent authority to regulate the electronic media’ caused many to jib nervously and shy away.

Unconvincingly persuasive explanations

Apparently the proposed authority would be vested with the legal power to determine complaints against the electronic media. As explained charmingly enough by ministerial worthies, the ‘Government will not be involved with the process’ and this was only due to the fact that the electronic media itself had requested for such an authority.

Sri Lanka is however no stranger to persuasive explanations which, when taken to the stage of determining policy, often rebounds to the detriment of the country. The unfortunate fate of the 1997 Broadcasting Authority Bill is a good illustration thereto….

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