18 September, 2020

Blog

Driving Ranil’s Point Home

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ruffled some media feathers the other day when he said that journalists were up for purchase. He was careful enough to add, ‘like politicians,’ the humility of the latte compensating for the brashness of the former. If humility begets humility then yes, we need to acknowledge that whether or not journalists choose to be bought they certainly are up for sale.

It happens in many ways. Journalists have ideological preferences. They have favorites. Even if they do their utmost to be neutral and fair, the subconscious can produce slant, slight or heavy. Then there’s also a tendency to ‘go easy’ on friends, especially entities that bring in advertising revenue. There is that kind of ‘look askance’ certainly. Media houses and editors deal with these things to the best of their ability but they can slip and there are no foolproof screens.

What Ranil refers to is more serious. We all know that there are things called ‘plugs’ and that there’s payment in cash or kind. There’s also mutual back-scratching. People ‘help one another’.

Ranil MediaOk. So the problem has been identified. What’s the solution? Ranil Wickremesinghe can go with ‘charity begins at home’. We could too. The difference is that Wickremesinghe is better positioned to bring in rules and regulations, back these with enforcing mechanisms. His playground is the entire country, ours is our relatively tiny media outfits.

The notion of ‘purchase’ here clearly implies corruption. It is a widespread disease, but it is not impossible to combat. This is why there are laws, law enforcement mechanisms etc. In the case of politicians purchase involves money. Money can be traced. The Prime Minister must have heard about asset declaration, disclosure and audits. Not all those who stand for election declare assets. Very few, if at all, declare assets when their terms end. Simple rules can be enacted. Simple and affordable mechanisms can be put in place to ensure compliance.

Let’s begin Mr Prime Minister!

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Latest comments

  • 12
    3

    Pity, APRIL FOOLS DAY was a few days ago, this would have been great if you wrote this on the 1st of April Malinda.

    You who greedily took a laptop from Mahinda talking of being “purchased”

    Not sure whether to laugh or to cry.

    What next ?

    • 2
      0

      Malinda Seneviratne , Medamulana Mahinda Shill and White washer,

      “It happens in many ways. Journalists have ideological preferences” It happens in many ways.

      What happened to your fellow shill and White-washer, H L D Mahinda-Pala?

      Is his Shilling and White-washing contract for Mahinda Rajapaksa over?

  • 6
    4

    Malinda Seneviratne , Medamulana Mahinda Shill and White washer,

    “It happens in many ways. Journalists have ideological preferences”

    It happens in many ways. Journalists have Shilling and Whitewashing preferences. For Example, Malinda Senevirata gas shilling and White Washing preferences for Medamulana Mahinda Rajapakda and his cronies.

    “Ok. So the problem has been identified.”

    Mahinda Rajapaksa, his Shills and Cronies.

  • 3
    0

    [Edited out]

    Interesting that you did not write about those laptops using laptop donated to you in recognition of your services – to the Nation of cource. After all you can run a news site called ” The Nation” but we uderstsnd that it would not have much readers had you named it “The Lackey”

  • 5
    0

    Now you’re talking, Malinda – better late than never!!

  • 7
    0

    Malinda is talking sense. We must clean up from all sides. Politicians,businessmen are ones who start the corruption by bribing / taking bribes.. The journalists are small fries in this game. They are not rich and they get caught for food,drinks,some give away gifts and some of course for money+.

  • 4
    0

    Journalist like Malinda Seneviratne were bought and sold like Karuvaddu before.

    So what is the big deal?

    It is always happening with most of them.

    Donald Gnanakone

  • 3
    0

    Malinda Seneviratne who is the epitome of what he writes here today is running a special Auvurrudu sale. [Edited out]

    MR can cash in on the offer as he claims nobody can afford to celebrate Auvurrudu this year.

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