Owing to the phone hacking scandal in the UK, media persons are debating the need to reinvigorate respect for the Editors Code of Professional Practice and review self-regulation within the media.
In this context, the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) is organising a National Conference on Self Regulation on September 7 and 8, at the Sri Lanka Press Institute Auditorium, 96 Kirula Road, Colombo 5.
Chief Guest on the occasion will be former Secretary General of Parliament and Parliamentary Ombudsman Sam Wijesinha, who is also Chairman- Dispute Resolution Council of the PCCSL. The keynote address will be delivered by Insurance Ombudsman Dr. Wickrama Weerasooria, a former Secretary to the Ministry of Plan Implementation, High Commissioner to Australia and one-time Professor- Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
This is the first National Conference to be held by the PCCSL after it was established in 2003 by the media industry and among those participating at the two-day event will be delegates from Jaffna, Batticaloa, Matara, Trincomalee, Kandy, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Ampara, These delegates will include provincial correspondents, civil society personalities and individuals who have made complaints from the provinces to the PCCSL.
There will be six Working Sessions during the conference. They are as follows:
Session I: Sept. 7, 2011 - Policing the Media: Statutory or Self Regulatory. Speakers will be Wijedasa Rajapaksha, MP and former Chairman- Press Council, Dr. Ariyaratne Athugala, Director General- Government Information and Arittha Wikramanayake, former Director General- Securities & Exchange Commission.
Session II: Sept. 7, 2011 - Media Ethics; Fact or Fiction. Speakers will be Journalists N. M. Ameen, Ms. Seetha Ranjanee and R. Prabaghan.
Session III: Sept. 7, 2011 - The Internet: A License to Slander? Speakers will be Jayantha Fernando, ICT Law & Policy Expert and Nalake Gunewardene, Science Writer and Columnist. Session IV: Sept. 7, 2011 - The World Outside. Speakers will be William Gore, Director General Press Complaints Commission of the UK (via satellite), Neville de Silva, Press Attaché, Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand (recorded), Lakshman Gunasekera, President- South Asian Free Media Association (Sri Lanka Branch) and Ms. Hana Ibrahim Former Editor Sunday Standard.
Session V: Sept. 8, 2011 - Role of Media Organisations in Self Regulation. Speakers will be Sunil Jayasekera, of the Free Media Movement, Gnanasiri Kothigoda, of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association and Dharmasiri Lankapelli, of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions.
Session VI: Sept. 8, 2011 - PCCSL: Resolving Conflicts between the Media and the Public. Speakers will be Kamal Liyanaarachchi, Acting CEO- PCCSL, and three complainants who had their complaints effectively resolved by the PCCSL
The entire proceedings of the National Conference will be relayed live to the newsrooms of the Lankadeepa and Lakbima newspapers in Colombo and the Uthayan in Jaffna.