Columnists

“It’s Not Yellow”

Views - 1927 Wednesday, 31 August 2011 01:50

Corruption or for that matter anti-corruption, seems to be on everybody’s mind these days, especially after Anna Hazare’s popular agitation and protest fast. There are various theories about this; the most interesting I read recently w


Dr. …NO

Views - 1746 Wednesday, 24 August 2011 00:55

“No! One word that will save your life” says an article in the Newsweek’s latest edition. It was surprising to note that the entire article was centred round how one did not need to take test upon test in order to be able to live a


Squire

Views - 1452 Wednesday, 17 August 2011 00:43

Journalism today has become a top job worldwide in terms of the power it wields, be it in social reform, removing unpopular regimes or exposing corruption. It has virtually become the world’s watchdog and sometimes its powers even spread into b


Disabled

Views - 1320 Wednesday, 10 August 2011 00:35

For one minute I was a homosapien and the next I was lying flat. I had slipped down on a gravel path and landed full on the ground at 6:30 a.m. I looked at my unbelievably painful left foot in the morning light. It was off joint and turned 90 degrees


Naivety

Views - 2480 Wednesday, 27 July 2011 00:00

2002, the time of the peace accord between the Government and the LTTE, was a confusing time for most of us journalists. The Norwegians were our peace brokers at that time and they were here and there, telling everyone who was involved how to get ove


Nemesis

Views - 1669 Wednesday, 20 July 2011 00:00

Rupert Murdoch. Something needs to be said about this man who can be named the true media mogul of this day. If any businessman, Sri Lankan or otherwise, intends owning media, he would want to follow in the footsteps of this Australian; or should one


An ethnic experiment

Views - 1647 Wednesday, 13 July 2011 00:00

I recently went for a stage play, which could well have become a PR disaster but didn’t. It could easily have been interpreted as ‘racist’ and putting it up on the boards, especially in a country that has just finished up a war, whi


Training the media

Views - 1396 Wednesday, 6 July 2011 00:00

As business and commerce take rapid steps in the forward direction here in Sri Lanka, more and more opportunities are presenting themselves for people to increase their earnings and even make their fortunes. More and more people from different sec


The inanimate brand

Views - 1424 Wednesday, 22 June 2011 00:08

Companies spending a great deal of money on developing a brand has become a trend in Sri Lanka. There is the imagery and the reams of paper that goes with it, probably explaining the concept behind the brands; the great deal of time they spend trying


Sustainability and information

Views - 1408 Thursday, 16 June 2011 00:43

  What does sustainability mean in the PR business, especially when it is well known the world over that Public Relations specialists are famous for their spin? That is to give various versions of the truth, and by this I mean that sometimes so


PR and branding in a demassified scenario

Views - 2130 Wednesday, 8 June 2011 00:32

Last week I wrote about the brand and PR. Today I would like to continue on the same and go a little more in depth. Recently I saw a headline in this newspaper which read ‘Making a brand relevant, the Philip Kotler way’. I was struck b


PR and branding

Views - 1756 Wednesday, 1 June 2011 00:38

I recently went to lunch at a restaurant in a five star hotel, and was quite surprised by the restaurant’s name. It was actually called ‘The Heist’. If you refer to any dictionary, it will tell you that a heist is a robbery in which


The Indian caricature

Views - 1743 Wednesday, 25 May 2011 00:00

I am sitting in a restaurant in the satellite city of Delhi, Gurgaon India, and in the backdrop are some strange messages. A large hoarding on the wall tells me that ‘An empty belly is the best cook’; probably another version of the old a


Media big brother

Views - 2226 Wednesday, 4 May 2011 00:00

Does the media – and indirectly Public Relations Companies in Sri Lanka – need a watchdog? Somebody to analyse what we write, what gets published and what is missed out? From the point of view of what is missed out, we know that not ever


Following a standard

Views - 1572 Wednesday, 27 April 2011 00:00

LAST week was a holy week for traditional Christians all over the world. There were many days to be observed such as the Sunday before Easter, known as Palm Sunday and the Thursday of that week which is called Maundy Thursday, observed by Catholics a


The Lion sleeps tonight

Views - 1404 Wednesday, 20 April 2011 00:00

This New Year, my family and I did not go out of the city as customary for us, but spent the holidays in Colombo.   It is when I drove from my home into the city on those days that it struck me how seriously, we Sri Lankans treat this Ne


Hospital care

Views - 1538 Wednesday, 13 April 2011 00:01

On World Health Day, 7 April, there were several articles that came up in the media; some very frightening stories about drug resistance due to the abuse of antibiotics. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which is considered to be the single biggest


Securing our national wealth

Views - 1608 Wednesday, 6 April 2011 00:00

Yesterday’s special report in the Daily FT on the oil issue in Sri Lanka had detailed stories on how oil prices rising was going to be a threat to the country’s economic recovery.  The Petroleum Minister had also been interviewed, to


Enforced drug list

Views - 1977 Wednesday, 30 March 2011 09:32

  The debate on the National Medicinal Drug Policy is never ending. Full credit for this must certainly be given to the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP), for keeping the subject alive in the media.     I


Enforced drug list

Views - 1696 Wednesday, 30 March 2011 00:01

The debate on the National Medicinal Drug Policy is never ending. Full credit for this must certainly be given to the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP), for keeping the subject alive in the media. I am compelled to make som


Social media: Is it journalism?

Views - 1861 Wednesday, 23 March 2011 00:01

I seem to be forever getting entangled in this debate between social and mainstream media. There is, increasingly, the idea that somehow social media could take a rank in position above mainstream media. What with all the Tweeting, Facebook activi


Chicken and Egg situation in Social Media

Views - 1886 Wednesday, 9 March 2011 00:01

How effective is social media as a marketing tool in Sri Lanka?  Can it be seriously considered in any large marketing communication plan?  Not in my view.  But to make certain, I picked up the phone and spoke to three CEOs of advertis


Reaching out to smaller communities

Views - 1460 Wednesday, 2 March 2011 00:22

Last week I wrote about next generation content creation and said that we cannot place the sole responsibility of content creation on the mass media. While not discounting the vital role they play in this area, we have to recognise the fact that t


Next generation content creation

Views - 1336 Wednesday, 23 February 2011 00:01

Last week I saw some articles on the web as well as in the newspapers about the death of a child allegedly due to consuming a soft drink. The brand name of this soft drink was not given so I immediately called some of my friends in the media who told


PR industry standards

Views - 1579 Wednesday, 9 February 2011 00:01

When I was in school, if we had a situation where information was needed on a particular subject, probably an event in history or some facts related to geography or biology which could have expanded our knowledge,the only sources to turn to were our


Timeshare

Views - 1403 Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:01

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about backpackers and Sri Lankan tourism. The question I raised was why don’t we have a proper plan to encourage this form of tourism and most importantly what we need to know is the size of this market and its spe


Objective Reporting

Views - 2118 Wednesday, 19 January 2011 00:01

Way back in February 1983 when Upali Wijeywardena’s Lear jet went missing somewhere between Malaysia and Sri Lanka, I was a junior reporter for the Sun Newspaper. I remember two other fellow journalists; Aruna Kulatunga, Chris Dharmakeerthi,


Tourism and backpackers

Views - 2799 Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:01

With the war ending, there is so much talk of tourism and it’s true tourists are coming here by their numbers; the hotels are filling up, the price of rooms are hitting record heights and the industry is set to boom. The groundwork for the o


Of public relations and media

Views - 1460 Wednesday, 5 January 2011 00:01

Who is a PR person? Though the answer may seem obvious on the face of it, it has become quite important these days to define the role of public relations. This is because the sustainability model of present day business demands engaging and intera


Why do we call a press conference?

Views - 2996 Wednesday, 29 December 2010 00:01

I was recently asked by a CEO of a leading enterprise in Sri Lanka as to why journalists don’t ask questions at a press conference. This phenomenon is not uncommon, where a press conference attended by over a 100 strong audience might just end


Today's Columnists

Laurels of ‘Living Together’: Refreshing reflections

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

It was a memorable evening with a mega gathering for a meaningfully different reason. It was not just another book launch with ego-boosting speeches about the author. It was also not an event where a popular politician coming late and preaching about


The fate of the rupee: Central Bank is caught with ‘Devil’s Alternative’

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Not all are losing when the rupee depreciates The recent depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the market has apparently driven the entire nation to a panic mode. While it had been a field day for the media and opposition law makers, the


Southbound rupee and northbound CoL

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Sri Lankan Rupee hit a record low of 170 per $ last week, and the Minister of Finance warns of further depreciation. This is inevitable given the chaotic state of the nation’s economy. While the rupee turns south, CoL (cost of living) has no o


In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


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