Media ethics as well as media freedom necessary to protect democracy – new Media Minister

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Democracy in any country is protected because of the media and media ethics as well as freedom of press is necessary to protect democracy, the newly appointed non cabinet Minister of Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardene said after assuming duties in his post.

The duty and responsibility of journalists is to make the public aware of the truth with trustworthy news and views, the Minister said addressing a gathering at the auditorium of the Department of Government Information on Monday (25) morning.

Minister Wijewardene said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gave him the ministerial portfolio due to his strong faith in him and he accepted the challenging post to provide a service to all the media, including the state and private media to the best of his ability.

He also said that he hoped to provide an environment in which journalists could be proud of their service and he would ensure the professional dignity of all media personnel and be committed to enhance the media sector in the country. The government will provide necessary facilities for media personnel to maintain standards of professionalism, he said.

Minister Wijewardene noting that media sector deserves more recognition, said he will ensure that all necessary allocations for the sector are duly made.

“We must also look at media ethics while protecting the freedom of the press. We need to pay attention to how to build media ethics in the country and the social media. It is our duty and responsibility as journalists to make the truth known to the people of this country. It is the responsibility of the media personnel to educate the public. We have to intervene in such things.”

“Media can protect democracy in any country. There should be free media as well as media morality. As a Ministry we hope to fully support that,” Wijewardene said requesting the officials of the Media Ministry and heads of institutions under the Ministry to join with the journalists for the task.

Agriculture Minister P Harrison said he is delighted that after some time a minister with an understanding of the mass media is appointed to the Media Ministry. He said the new minister Ruwan Wijewardena could take the message of the government through government and private media to the people.

Non-cabinet Minister of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology Ajith P. Perera said that Ruwan Wijewardene had also served as a journalist and that it would be very easy for him to solve the issues related to the subject of Mass Media.

Minister P. Harrison, Minister Ajith P. Perera and UNP MP Professor Ashu Marasinghe who were present at the ceremony expressed their delight in the new appointment while commending President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for the decision to appoint Wijewardene as the Media Minister.

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