Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) in collaboration with Free Media Movement (FMM) organized a web-conference under the title; COVID-19: Challenges to Media Freedom and Social Responsibility on 3rd May 2020 at 9.30 a.m.
The session prelude was opening remarks with the historical origin and declaration of the World Press Freedom Day made by Mr. Sukumar Rockwood on behalf of SLPI, followed by the introduction made by Mr. C. Dodawatte, convener of FMM who drew upon the current context of the media against the commemoration of freedom of the press.
The speakers Dr. P.N.Meegaswatte, Secretary General of Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO and Mr. Kanchana Dassanayake, Editor of ‘Ada’ Newspaper added further input to the session deliberating on the social responsibility of journalists in voicing the most accurate information to the public.
The keynote address for the session was made by Mr. Wijayananda Jayaweera, Communications Specialist and Media Researcher who delivered an insightful address touching upon the trends observed in the current media landscape, the nature of the State involvement with the media behaviour and the necessity in implementing a culture of free speech since primary education. He stressed on the need for every government and media composition to remind itself that they have vouched for democratic ideals that need preserving.
A total of 67 participants from media backgrounds, civil society and activists engaged in the program allowing a fruitful dialogue question and answer session. The World Press Freedom Day 2020 discussion thus came to a conclusion commemorating and recognizing once again, the freedom of the press and the need for journalism without fear or favour.