Minister of Transport, Highways, and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, said that the Lake House Media Academy, nurtured by the esteemed Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), is set to mould a generation of journalists transcending traditional boundaries.
Addressing the first Diploma Award Ceremony of the Lake House Media Academy at BMICH on Thursday (23), Dr. Gunawardena highlighted Lake House’s pivotal role in shaping Sri Lankan public opinion pre and post-Independence, emphasising that the media institution’s historical legacy is unparalleled.
The establishment of the Lake House Media Academy in 2022 aimed to pass on Lake House’s commitment to quality journalism to future generations by fostering a creative and knowledgeable media workforce, the Minister said.
The ceremony, attended by prominent dignitaries, intellectuals and ANCL directors, celebrated the graduation of 26 students who successfully completed the media communications diploma course and the digital media communication diploma course.
The academy, registered as a distinct private entity under ANCL (Lake House), has already conducted one-day workshops and initiated diploma courses, with efforts to secure National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) levels and MOUs with other prestigious institutions.
Dr. Gunawardena articulated the academy’s mission to go beyond traditional journalism, cultivating a breed of journalists capable of critical thinking and cultural sensitivity.
He urged the academy to steer away from media practices that breed hatred, emphasising the importance of an enlightened media landscape in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Gunawardena envisioned the academy as a hub for enlightened conversations and debates, tackling pressing national issues. He proposed bi-weekly workshops and conferences, fostering a dialogue that transcends traditional boundaries, making the academy a beacon of enlightened journalism and critical discourse.
The Chairman of the Associated Newspapers Ceylon Limited (ANCL), Prof. Harendra Kariyawasam, revealed plans to elevate the Lake House Media Academy to the status of a premier Media University.
The Chairman highlighted ongoing discussions with the University Grants Commission (UGC) that could mark a significant transformation in the media education landscape.
“The Lake House Media Academy, now officially registered as a distinct private entity under ANCL (Lake House), has achieved substantial progress.
The Academy has successfully conducted numerous one-day workshops and established two diploma courses, with efforts under way to secure NVQ levels for these courses.
Crucially, Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been formalised with esteemed institutions, including the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Sri Lanka Rupahavini Corporation (SLRC), and the Independent Television Network (ITN),” Prof Kariyawasam said.
Prof. Kariyawasam underscored the substantial progress of the Lake House Media Academy, positioning it as a financial stronghold for Lake House in 2024.
In the face of challenges posed by technological revolutions and economic downturns, Lake House is committed to transforming the traditional media structure and embracing a digital future, securing its place at the forefront of media organisations.
Along with the awarding of diplomas, the official website of Lake House Media Academy was also launched under the auspices of Dr. Gunawardena and a memento was also presented to the Minister by Lake House Chairman Prof. Kariyawasam.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media, E.M.S.B Jayasundara, Director General of Government Information Dinith Chinthaka Karunaratne, SLRC Chairman, Dr. Prasad Samarasinghe and the Director Board of Lake House including Sisira Paranatantrie, Janaka Ranathunga, Manjula Makumbura, and Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne were present.
Pictures by Shan Rupassara, Rukmal Gamage and Chinthaka Kumarasinghe