Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Journalist's journey to a jungle
Training course on Journalism & Democracy 2004

Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
from Sri Lanka in Kalmar,Sweden

As in every country, which has experienced almost 20 years of war, working, as a Journalist is not easy. The government and the rebels used to put all kinds of pressure on journalists in order to make their points of view be heard. As a result, some journalists have continued with the same unethical practices even after there has been a peace agreement between government and rebels. An additional problem is low wages.Private companies also play an important role in this deplorable practice. A big airline company invites some journalist for an inauguration flight to another country, with everything paid for. It means that when the journalists get back to the newsroom they all write positive stories, which certainly does not reflect the reality of this company.Another example ­ the inauguration of a beautiful hotel in the middle of the jungle, near a pathway of elephants. A room in this luxury hotel can be as high as 1000 dollars per night. What the owner does, is to invite some journalist for the weekend, to experience the wonders of the jungle with an intention that when they get back to their newsroom, they will write positive things about the hotel. The Journalists in this case were used as publicity instrument, and they were aware of that, but they did not care. All they wanted was to have a good time in the jungle.

(This comment was posted on the FOJO-Sweden website, during the training course on Journalism & Democracy 2004)


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