The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) held its 17th Annual General Meeting on the 21st of October 2020 virtually using the Zoom web-conference platform, attended by representatives of its constituent partners – the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free Media Movement, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association and its members.
Presenting the annual report of the institution, Mr. Kumar Lopez, Chief Executive Officer of the SLPI, stated that 2019 had been a successful year with many improvements where they engaged with their main domains; Media Freedom and Journalist Professionalism, Transparency and Accountability, and Peace and Reconciliation. This included a self-reflection exercise on the self-regulation process of the print media with the objective of strengthening media ethics and professionalizing newspaper reporting practices.
In keeping up with the SLPI mandate to nurture an informed public committed to democratic ideals, SLPI has made prominent interventions especially in spreading awareness on Right to Information (RTI) among various strata in society. The Right to Information help desk which was established to support the newsrooms, and RTI Journalists forums continue to engage and strengthen the use of RTI among journalists. The CEO also mentioned the outreach program with the youth on RTI awareness and communication that had produced several success stories from districts across the country.
SLPI has been expanding their presence on the digital front, with increased engagement through social media and dedicated portals such as Rtisrilanka.lk and Changemaker.lk for RTI engagements and Peace and reconciliation work via thecatamaran.org, to cater to a wider and growing audience.
Several projects have been implemented in association with foreign missions such as Norway, United States, and Germany with the organizations like Norwegian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Open Society Foundation (OSF), UNESCO, International Research & Exchange Board (IREX), Media in Transition and Coordination (MiCT), USAID and the IOM. Mr. Lopez also mentioned the Journalism Awards for Excellence, a joint event organized by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL) and the SLPI, that successfully concluded its 20th edition on the 10th of December 2019.
Directors of the Sri Lanka Press Institute re-elected were; Mr. Kumar Nadesan (Chairman) of the Newspaper Society, Mr. Sinha Ratnatunga (Deputy Chairman), Mr. Manik de Silva and Mr. Mohanlal Piyadasa of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, Ms. Seetha Ranjanee, Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana and Mr. Thaha Muzammil of the Free Media Movement, Mr. Lasantha Ruhunage and Mr. Duminda Sampath of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association.
Messrs. Ernest and Young Global Limited were re-appointed as auditors of the company and F.J. &G de Seram’s Corporate Services (Private) Limited (CSL) were re-appointed as the company secretaries.
Photo 1 – Virtual Meeting of SLPI