Five media collective express our disappointment on the attitude of intolerance and animosity displayed by Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe towards a Daily Mirror reporter at a press conference held by UNP on 01st Dec 2008. . In our opinion this attitude is inconsistence with democratic morns and journalists’ rights.
When a Daily Mirror reporter asked a question about the plans of UNP for upcoming elections Mr. Wikramasinghe’s response was to ask that question from his deputy editor and chief editor. Then Mr. Wikramasinghe went on to criticize Daily Mirror deputy editor for an opinion he has expressed in his weekly column saying that Mr. Wikramesinge is a week leader. Mr. Wikramasinhge asked the Daily Mirror reporter to tell his deputy editor Kesara Abewardana to come to next press conference to have debate on his opinion.
Our organizations stand by any journalists’ or media institutions’ right to express their own ideas on public interest issues provided that they do not violate the accepted media ethics. Five media collective thinks that a negative attitude coming from a person hold an esteemed leader of the opposition position towards a reporter could be a wrong example for many others fellow.
Intolerance of other opinions is a major issue in Sri Lankan politics as well as in our media culture. Today we live in a situation of unprecedented media suppression and intimidations. In such a situation any intolerance and animosity towards media and journalists could be perceived as a threat.
We appeal all politicians to tolerate even offending questions by media and reporters and respond to them properly. Responding to reporters questions is respecting peoples’ right to information. If there are any issues go beyond we hope that all concerned parties will solve them democratically.
Five media collective would like to express its displeasure over the way Daily Mirror editor has been censoring news according to her whims and fancies in recent times. In our view not only politicians but editors and media too have a duty to build credibility with relevant audiences by acting respectfully, adhering to accepted code of ethics.
– SLWJA, FMETU, SLTMA, SLMMF, FMM