Media Monitoring Report, March 2011: Reportage of LLRC’s hearings in Puttalam and Mannar

The Media Unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives conducts qualitative and quantitative monthly media monitoring of mainstream print and broadcast media in Sinhala and Tamil. Each month, mainstream media coverage of a specific incident, region or process is quantitatively and qualitatively analysed along with general observations on media bias and violation of established media ethics.

This edition deals with the mainstream media’s bias and selectivity in reporting the hearings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in Puttalam and Mannar. The media monitoring reports are available in Sinhala and Tamil.

  • Among the newspapers monitored, not a single had any reports on the LLRC hearings in Puttalam. There were also no reports on civil society’s testimony to the LLRC in Mannar, save for the submission by Bishop Rayappu Joseph. No lead story, no cartoon, no editorial on these hearings.
  • During the time the hearings were taking place in Puttalam and Mannar, reports on the LLRC in the media were anchored to testimony given in Colombo. Testimony that was critical of the LTTE was selectively highlighted in these reports.
  • In the Tamil media monitored too, there was not a single editorial or cartoon about the LLRC’s hearings in Puttalam and Mannar.
  • There was however reportage on the hearings in both locations. Interestingly, the Tamil media reported on testimony given in Colombo as well as that which was given in Puttalam and Mannar, unlike Sinhala media which was focussed solely on Colombo.

Sinhala media monitored included Dinamina and Silumina (State) and Lankadeepa, Lakbima, Divaina, Irida Lankadeepa, Irida Divaina, Ravaya and Lanka (Private).

Tamil media monitored included Thinakaran and Irida Thinakaran (State) and Virakesari, Sudar Oli, Thinnakural, Irida Virakesari, Irida Sudar Oli, Irida Thinnakural (Private)

See http://www.cpalanka.org/mediamonitoring/?p=593 for PDFs or below for embedded versions.

Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.