National newspapers resolve 207 complaints on self-regulation basis

Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

National newspapers resolved 207 complaints from aggrieved readers directly on a self-regulation basis last year while the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 76 complaints for adjudication under the voluntary mechanism set up by the industry back in 2003.

The annual report of the PCCSL for 2020 presented by Chief Executive Officer Sukumar Rockwood, released last week at the PCCSL Annual General Meeting, stated that the commission conducted 15 meetings with 60 publishers, editors and journalists despite the on-off lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine awareness meetings were held with 203 members of civil society; 105 students of journalism who were at home met at 11 meetings through webinars, in addition to conducting three programs for 122 youths.

The PCCSL, which is an independent, voluntary, self-regulatory body for the print media, marked its 18th anniversary on 15 October. The PCCSL is supported by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka (NSSL), The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL), the Free Media Movement (FMM), and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), and is affiliated with the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance, and the South Asian Free Media Association – Sri Lanka Chapter.

The PCCSL works on the principles of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration through its Secretariat and the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC). The DRC is made up of six non-journalists, including the Chairman and five journalists. It is headed by Parliament former Secretary-General Nihal Seneviratne. The other non-journalist members are Dr. Devanesan Nesiah, Javid Yusuf, Dion Schoorman, Lucille Wijewardene, and Gnana Moonesinghe. The journalist members are Siri Ranasinghe, P. Balasingham, Daya Lankapura, Pramod de Silva, and Rajitha Weerakoon.

The nine-member Board of Directors comprise Kumar Nadesan (Chairman), Sinha Ratnatunga (Deputy Chairman), Nimal Welgama, Manik de Silva, Lasantha de Silva, Frank de Zoysa, Dharman Wickremeratne, M. N. Ameen, and Mohanlal Piyadasa.

Ernst and Young, Chartered Accountants were re-elected Auditors of the Commission and F.J. & G. De Saram Corporate Services Ltd. were re-elected Secretaries of the Commission via the AGM’s Zoom meeting.

The other member of the PCCSL is Sinhala Print Complaints Officer Kamal Liyanaarachchi.