The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) noted World Press Freedom Day highlights the importance of an independent, free and pluralistic media protecting and promoting these rights.
Sukumar Rockwood, Chief Executive Officer of the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka said that it is only when journalists are free to monitor, investigate and criticize policies and actions can good governance be prevalent.
“This is also a time to recognise the importance of free media and the important role it plays in society to inform, educate and entertain in addition to paying tribute to those journalists and media workers who have lost their lives in the pursuit of their profession,” he added.
Rockwood said that the Code of Professional Practice of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, which the PCCSL helps implement, focuses on accuracy in reporting and advocates the importance of professional integrity as integral steps towards making the press socially responsible and sensitive to the needs and expectations of its readers. Media Freedom and Social Responsibility are the corner-stones of the PCCSL
“Journalists must strive to work in the interest of the public, unfettered by improper pressure, or by narrow self-interest, which conspires against press freedom,” he said.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.
This in turn was a response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
This year the theme is: ‘Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms: This Is Your Right!’ (Colombo Gazette)