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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sri Lanka: Media industry hard-hit by economic crisis, parliamentary sub-committee told

The local media industry has been hit hard by the prevailing economic crisis as money spent on advertising decreased by around 70 percent while production costs were on an incessant rise, journalists and media organization representatives informed the National Council Sub Committee on Economic Stabilization of Parliament.

This sub-committee met on Thursday at the Committee Room I in the parliamentary complex. Due to the power cuts during prime time telecasts, the number of commercials received by TV stations has decreased and in the current economy, they have to bear high costs for the production of programmes, journalists pointed out to the committee headed by SJB MP Patali Champika Ranawaka.

Journalists representing newspapers pointed out that due to the increase in production costs including the shortage of paper, there has been a major setback in the publishing industry including newspapers. They also pointed out that because of this situation, the pages of the newspapers had to be limited and the prices increased.

They further pointed out that due to the reduction of newspaper pages, there is no space for the news sent by provincial journalists and they have not even been able to make payments for published material.It was also revealed that it is difficult to even pay salaries to the permanent staff of some newspaper organizations. They also pointed out that in this situation newspaper printing has decreased by 60%-70%.

Thus, newspaper journalists pointed out that the circulation of newspapers among the people has been greatly reduced due to economic issues, non-publication of local news, etc.In addition to the economic crisis, it was also revealed that the newspapers and radio have to face a major challenge due to the current digital media trends including social media.

It was further expressed that the government should make a joint effort to reach one goal by all media organizations to prepare the people to face the current crisis. Attention was drawn here to the need to act in the same way that the media acted in times like the tsunami disaster, defeating terrorism and overcoming the covid crisis.

Paying attention to all these comments and suggestions, the committee chairman said that based on these facts, he is expected to include proposals related to the media sector in the next report and submit them to the National Council.Journalists representing mainstream media organizations such as television, radio and newspapers as well as web media and social media were invited to this meeting.

The Island

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