Acting Media Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva soon after assuming duties officially yesterday, called on the Country s Media to uphold social responsibility.
He said that the media should act in a responsible manner, be impartial and accountable, as it was an important player in shaping public opinion.
While calling for higher media ethics, the Minister said the power vested in the Media should always go hand in hand with responsibility towards the people and freedom of expression should never forsake the unwritten law of responsibility.
The Minister said the media can adopt a more responsible approach in reporting news, ensuring that the news are not underreported to lull the readers to ignorance or to sensationalise it to such a degree that the public are not given enough space to think and make their intelligent judgement.
The Minister stressed that the safety and welfare of media personnel would be looked into as a priority issue and urged journalists and media institutions to contact him directly if they have any concerns.
He added that a complaints desk at the Media Ministry for journalists to lodge complaints or make suggestions would be set up and the relevant issues would be taken up in a very transparent manner in the presence of all stakeholders on a monthly basis.
He also said that in future if there were any allegations of wrongdoing against him and if they were proven without doubt he would resign from his post forthwith. Media Ministry Secretary W.B. Ganegala who too spoke on the occasion welcomed the new Minister.
Heads of several Media Organizations including Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Chairman Bandula Padmakumara, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Chairman Prof. Ariyaratne Ethugala, Government politicians, Media personnel and well-wishers were present.