The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) held its 13th Annual General Meeting on the 13th July 2014 at its office at 96, Kirula Road, Colombo 5, attended by representatives of its stakeholders comprising the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free-media Movement and the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association.
Presenting the annual report of the institution, Mr. Kumar Lopez, Chief Executive Officer of the SLPI, noted that 2015 had been a very good year. He reported that the SLPI had conducted several meetings with local and international bodies to promote professionalism in journalism. The key achievement of the last year has been the outcome of the long fought struggle by the board and the management to enact the Right to Information (RTI) bill, which was unanimously passed by the parliament on the 24th of June 2016. SLPI in this regard has lobbied with key decision makers and conducted several awareness programs during 2015 in its training and discussions in the provinces with various groups of people.
Several projects had also been implemented in association with foreign mission such as Norway, Denmark, US, Britain, organizations namely Open Society Foundation, International Media Support, Thomson Foundation, WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers), and CANSA (Climate Action Network South Asia). Mr. Lopez further said that support mainly through logistical assistance had been given to The Editors Guild to organize and hold the annual ‘ Excellence in Journalism’ awards.
He reported that the SLPI had also hosted an International Conference on Global Media Ethics, which brought together local and International speakers, academics, journalists, researchers and subject matter experts. Furthermore SLPI along with the Colombo University, Strategic Alliance for Research and Development, UNESCO, and International Media Support, involved in conducting an Island-wide research to understand the media landscape based on the UNESCO Media Development Indicator framework. It is believed that this research would identify the gaps in the media domain and help to bring in the needed reforms for betterment of journalists and media as a whole.
A partnership with the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) also saw SLPI launching a program on ‘Corporate Communications and Public relations’, where two batches have successfully completed the course. Mr. Lopez also stated that, SLPI is now an accredited ‘City and Guild’ training centre, which enables itself to deliver specific program in the field of communications. Besides these, several workshops had been held towards enhancing journalist’s education and reporting skills on science, environment, media ethics and new media.
It was also reported that the Kirula Road premises now boasted of a fully equipped auditorium with recording and multimedia capabilities which had already been hired for meetings, presentations and lectures by several professional institutions adding to its income generation.
Directors of the Sri Lanka Press Institute are Mr. Kumar Nadesan (Chairman) of the Newspaper Society, Mr. Sinha Ratnatunga (Vice Chairman), Manik de Silva and Mohanlal Piyadasa of the Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, Ms. Seetha Ranjanee, Ms. Hana Ibrahim and Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana of the Free Media Movement, Mr. Lasantha Ruhunage and Mr. Kanchana Marasinghe of the Sri Lanka Working Journalist Association.