Fight to uphold press freedom goes on

Journalists are performing their duties the world over under the most difficult circumstances. Sometimes, especially in war-torn countries like the Middle East, they are subject to harassment, torture, and even death.

Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of democracy. During the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, there was an uproar in the House of Commons, with British politicians calling for a withdrawal of the subsidy granted to the BBC in retaliation for being impartial in their news broadcasts. Some people felt the BBC was demoralising British forces fighting in the Falklands.

Freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and the rights of the people were the main themes discussed at a three-day symposium to mark the 10th anniversary of the Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility, held recently at the Sri Lanka Press Institute,

Professor Tissa Kariyawasam suggested that journalism and the history of journalism be taught as a subject at university level in Sri Lanka. The subject became part of the GCE Ordinary Level curriculum last year.

Vincent Dalima, Talaimannar

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