25th anniversary souvenir

Setting the bar high

By Dr Nimal Sanderatne

Twenty-five years ago economic journalism was sparse and scanty. The media was not a watchdog of the economy. This has changed much due to the initial enterprise of the Sunday Times Business—a one-page economic and business supplement. Its news and comment on the economy was well received and widely read.

The Sunday Times was fortunate to have Lakshman Kannangara, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as the first editor of the Sunday Times Business. Mr. Kannangara’s counsel, his business contacts, his meticulous concern for accurate information and precision of language ensured high quality journalism in the early years of the Business Times. His advice was invaluable in guiding journalists towards writing stories that interested the business and finance community. Many of the staff of this era are now editors of business sections of other newspapers.

The Sunday Times Business expanded its coverage to reincarnate itself to its current Sunday Times Business on Sunday. Other newspapers began to publish business pages. The fullblown Daily FT has been the outcome of this expansion. Much of the credit for business and economic issues being well covered in the English newspapers must go to the initial efforts of the Sunday Times that has made a significant contribution towards dissemination and discussion of economic and business issues and contributed to the public’s understanding of economic developments.

(The writer is an eminent economist and among the first contributors to the Sunday Times business section, which he continues to this day)

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