Editors resolve 274 complaints under ‘Right of Reply’ | Sunday Observer

Editors resolve 274 complaints under ‘Right of Reply’

National newspaper Editors resolved 243 complaints made directly to them by aggrieved readers in 2018 and 31 complaints with the involvement of the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL). During the year under review, the PCCSL received 79 complaints from the public, of which 19 were outside its scope.

The complaints resolved by the Editors come under Clause 04. ‘Opportunity to Reply’ (‘Right of Reply’) procedure laid down by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka in their Code of Professional Practice (Editors’ Code).

The Code, which is implemented by the PCCSL now provides for conditional third party complaints.

The annual report of the PCCSL for 2018 which was released on September 04, 2019 states that the PCCSL conducted 14 meetings with 118 publishers, editors and journalists. Fourteen awareness meetings were held with 50 members of civil society. They also had six awareness meetings with 253 youths who represented various youth groups in the island. These meetings were held in Colombo, Akmeemana, Negombo, Ulapane, N’Eliya, Badulla, Kandy, Anuradhapura and Galle areas.

The PCCSL, which is an independent, voluntary, self-regulatory body will celebrat its 16th anniversary on October 15, 2019. The PCCSL is supported by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka (NSSL), The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and is affiliated with the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asian Free Media Association – Sri Lanka Chapter.

The PCCSL works on the principles of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration through its Secretariat and the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC). The DRC is made up of six non-journalists, including the chairman and five journalists. It is headed by former Secretary General of Parliament Attorney Nihal Seneviratne. The other non-journalist members are; Dr. Devanesan Nesiah, Mr. Javid Yusuf, Mr. Dion Schoorman, Mr. Lucille Wijewardene and Mrs. Gnana Moonesinghe.

The journalist members are: Mr. Siri Ranasinghe, Mr. P. Balasingham, Mr. Daya Lankapura, Mr. Pramod de Silva and Mrs Rajitha Weerakoon.

The nine-member Board of Directors comprise; Mr. Kumar Nadesan (Chairman, nominee of SLPI), Mr. Sinha Ratnatunga (Deputy Chairman, nominee of The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka), Mr. Nimal Welgama (nominee of the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka), Mr. Jagath Liyanarachchi (nominee of the Free Media Movement), Mr. Manik de Silva (nominee of the SLPI), Mr. Frank de Zoysa (nominee of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association). Mr. Siri Ranasinghe, Mr. M. N. Ameen and Mr. Mohanlal Piyadasa were re-elected by the general membership of the PCCSL.

The PCCSL Secretariat is headed by the CEO, Mr. Sukumar Rockwood and includes Mr. Kamal Liyanaarachchi, Complaint’s Officer.