Sri Lanka: Media and Politics

Lanka Rising on the connections between media and politics. “Media is no longer playing mere supporting role for democracy, but it has become key influential entity supporting marketing campaigns for political parties.”

1 comment

  • M Kumar

    You need not be from Ivy League / Oxbridge nor a towering intellectual to understand the current media circus- in the 21st century especially after 9/11.Sadly if not tragically, the Media – print and electronic all over the world had become mere foghorns espousing their pet or preferred causes and agendas and to promote their sponsors or masters. During our student days when you opened a daily paper such as The Times of India or The Hindu to read and comprehend what is happening locally, regionally or internationally we became enlightened. Earlier as readers at the end of the day we were informed and educated on matters and on history. During my teens my father encouraged me to read The Hindu everyday to improve my English and the view of the world. Sadly at present the Maha Vishnu of Mount Road had become a pliant paper parsimonious with truth!!
    Today news and views from the three multinational news agencies / wire services such as Reuters, Associated Press (AP) and Agence France Presse (AFP) reflect mainly the parochial western views and opinions. Hence you have to be alert to separate the wheat from the shaft. It is not an easy task as Masters of Disinformation will convince you with their versions, analysis and interpretations. A lie cunningly repeated becomes a truthful account / story!! Remember Saddam’s WMD in Iraq before March 2003 and currently Iran’s nuclear ambition!!
    But in the current cesspool of information, people of the world are thankful to investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersh, John Pilger, Greg Palast et al.
    In fact it was Hersh who exposed the horrors of the Abu Ghraib prison to the world.
    Then we have Michael Scheuer, Dr.Illan Pappe, Mike Whitney and Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – their columns and blogs to tell the world what is not found in the pliant mainstream media read: CNN, FOX, CBC and BBC. BBC was interesting and informative before Blair. It is stated Beeb is fiercely independent and devoid of government interference, “Putting news First.” Well, Blair perverted the Beeb.

    Sri Lanka like any other third world country has a hotchpotch media and a pool of journalists. The state and pro- state media / journalists are pack of clowns and parrots. In the ongoing conflict between the state and the Tamil Tigers the atmosphere is charged and you have “you are either with us or against us” syndrome prevailing. Again if you are a Tamil the chances are you are either a suspect or a traitor. There are many Tamil journalists and writers based outside Sri Lanka. They either reflect the views and opinions of the Tigers or are rabidly anti-Tigers. Some of them by extension are very supportive of the oppressive Rajapakse criminal mafia.
    In this poisoned Sri Lankan media environment it is refreshing to have a person such as Sonali Samarasinghe an avant-garde investigative journalist. Her writings and opinions are lucid, logical and informative. She reminds me of the primus inter pares of yesteryear Tarzie Vittachi who won the hearts and minds of the readers. Vittachi never believed in marketing his story / writing / opinion to the publisher or media mogul but cared for the oppressed and the underdog.

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