At a time when the country is being directed towards the development in various fields under the leadership of H.E the President after working in an environment, which disrupts national unity and socio- political harmony among communities, it has been well-recognized that the importance of the media mission of the Government and specially of the Ministry of Mass media and Information on national development news as well as positive criticisms on the development effort strengthen the foundation of development. Therefore, as media persons engaged in news reporting in electronic and print media, you are entrusted with a unique and responsible task and as media personnel in-charge of news reporting you have an enormous power and a responsibility as well.
Mr. Charitha Herath, Secretary, Ministry of Mass Media and Information expressed these views addressing the gathering of Heads of News Divisions of electronic media institutions in the state and private sectors held on 17th January,2013 at the Ministry Auditorium.
He further added that the accuracy of single news reported by any media channel can make a huge impact on the public opinion and it is the responsibility of the news division to enlighten the country accurately. Therefore, a common agreement among all media channels in state and private sectors regarding news reporting is important. It is significant that this agreement be made regarding the sources of information as well.
The difference between a fact and an opinion in news reporting and the irresponsibility of young journalists in this relation is evident.
Eventhough a basic code of Ethics exists, media reporting does not align with this code of Ethics.
Problems regarding the use of language
The need for the formulation of an extensive code of Media Ethics recognizing the limits to be followed in reputing unique incidents and situations has been identified.
In this background, we are of the view that a code of Ethics formulated through a public dialogue is far better than a code of Ethics formulated by a single person the secretary further added.
Mr. Wasanthapriya Ramanayake, Director of Government Information Mr. Mahinda Ileperuma, Media Consultant to H.E the President, Senior Officials of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information and Heads of News Divisions in state and private Media Institutions attended this event.