ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to draft a bill seeking to establish a Chartered Institute of Professional Journalists, cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardana said.
On October 05, 2021, the cabinet of ministers at the time greenlit a proposal to establish an institute to be named ‘Chartered Institute of Journalists’ and a committee was appointed under the supervision of the Secretary to the Media Ministry to take the necessary measures.
On Monday August 15 the cabinet approved a proposal to draft a bill based on a rough draft put together by the aforesaid committee. The name of the Institute is also to be changed to ‘Chartered Institute of Professional Journalists’.
“We are setting up this to improve the quality of journalism in the country and to raise it to international standards,” Minister Gunawardana said speaking to reporters at the weekly cabinet press briefing on Tuesday August 16.
“There is a chartered institute for journalists in London. The purpose is to bring similar quality into Sri Lanka especially to create a young educated generation of journalists who are professional and equipped with advanced knowledge,” he said.
Gunawardana, who is also Media Minister, said President Ranil Wickrememsinghe has asked ministers not to intervene in the activities of government institutes and to set up a director board of professionals in their respective fields.
Under the proposed institute for journalists, said Gunawardena, professional qualifications for journalists such as certificates, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate programmes can be commenced following international standards.
“We can take the London chartered institute as an example to set up ours. We are trying to get this bill approved by the attorney general’s department and hopefully establish it within my tenure as the subject minister,” he said. (Colombo/Aug16/2022)