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Ranil’s personal visits – Correspondence

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 7 July 2017 00:00

I am compelled to add my own views again to the ongoing correspondence on the above subject, sparked off by the initial writing of Ruwan Fernando to which I added a rejoinder and thereafter C. Ramachandra wrote elucidating further on the PM’s visits, in response to which you commented, “Daily FT objectively endeavours to provide a platform for expression of different views including multiple views praising the current leaders and administration.”

It is a lofty ideal you profess to follow but I cannot help but agree with Ramachandra that the Editor of a newspaper is also duty bound to publish what is truthful and not merely to accommodate the comments of a reader or a correspondent particularly if they pertain to another person or an institution. 

This is very succinctly illustrated by what happened at CNN, which Ramachandra also referred to in his letter. If I may quote Brian Stelter in the CNN Media newsletter published on 27 June: 

“An internal investigation by CNN management found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published, people briefed on the results of the investigation said. The story, which reported that Congress was investigating a ‘Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,’ cited a single anonymous source. These types of stories are typically reviewed by several departments within CNN – including fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers – before publication.”

The publishers cannot escape the responsibility for libel if any damaging or vilifying remarks on a person are included in a letter or article merely because they are the views of a reader and I found Ruwan Fernando’s letter contains such denigrating insinuations on the PM which are not factually correct. This prompted me to respond to Fernando initially. 

Your statement that ‘Daily FT objectively endeavours to provide a platform for expression of different views including multiple views praising the current leaders and administration’ is somewhat hazy because a high street newspaper like the prestigious Daily FT should endeavour to publish what is right, truthful and factual and not merely to provide a platform to different views including those praising current leaders as you wish to emphasize. 

I hope this too will be published though it is somewhat divergent to your views.

T. Mallawatantri

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