The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 142 complaints last year. Of the 142 complaints, 85 complaints were valid complaints falling within the purview of the PCCSL mechanism with the Editors publishing a ‘Right of Readers’ for 38 of them, Chief Executive Officer of the PCCSL said in his annual report for 2015.
CEO Sukumar Rockwood said that the Sinhala press which comprises 43 per cent of the country’s newspapers attracted a majority of the complaints. He said that the Commission received the fullest co-operation from editors to resolve these complaints amicably and swiftly.
He said that as many as 278 complaints were resolved directly by editors providing a ‘Right of Readers’ to the aggrieved parties.
The report stated that four English language and two Sinhala language newspapers however did not co-operate with the PCCSL, which is a voluntary self-regulatory body of the newspaper industry having the support of the Newspaper Society, Editors’ Guild, Free Media Movement, Working Journalists Association and four other media organizations including a trade union. They are the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asian Free Media Association – Sri Lanka Chapter.
The CEO’s report said that the PCCSL’s autonomous Dispute Resolution Council headed by former Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Nihal Senviatne met bi-monthly to inquire into complaints that required their attention.
The report also stated that workshops were conducted for most newspapers in their Newsrooms while training for provincial journalists on ethical reporting and for government officials and the public on the Editors’ Code were conducted in Colombo, Jaffna and Galle.
Siri Ranasinghe, Editor of the Lankadeepa, N. M. Ameen, Editor of the Nawamani newspaper and Mohanlal Piyadasa, Chief Sub Editor of the Deshaya were re-elected by the general membership of the PCCSL at the AGM to the Board of Directors of the PCCSL.
The other members of the Board of Directors representing separate media organizations are Kumar Nadesan (Chairman, nominated by SLPI), Sinha Ratnatunga ((Deputy Chairman, nominated by TEGOSL), Manik de Silva (nominated by the SLPI), Nimal Welgama (nominated by the NSSL), B. M. Murshideen (nominated by FMM) and Duminda Sampath (nominated by SLWJA). (Colombo Gazette)