Provincial Correspondents should be allowed to freely report the Presidential Elections without obstruction, the Free Media Movement said in a statement today Nov 7.
This follows a meeting held by the Provincial Journalist Collective where they discussed the harassment and obstruction regional journalists face across Sri Lanka from various political party organizers and supporters during the presidential campaign.
FMM noted that political parties have refused individual journalist to cover presidential election campaign meetings after finding out which media institution name they represent.
The Media watchdog says “it is essential that citizens should get access to detailed information relating to all the various candidates policies and statements through which voters can make an informed decision.”
“We emphasize that free and independent professional journalists, as well as all media institutions have a huge responsibility to provide unbiased information the voters require” the Free Media Movement said.
It added that, “journalists have a professional responsibility in election reporting and are bound by the code of ethics of media reporting while the media institutions are bound by the media guidelines issued by the Election Commission”.
The Free Media Movement urged all authorities to take prompt and impartial action on complaints made by the media community and to prevent undue influence on journalists and media institutions.
“It is the responsibility of all political parties and independent candidates contesting this election to create the necessary environment especially for provincial journalist and media institutions to fulfil their professional duties and this environment will make the citizen take informed decision and thereby further strengthening the democracy”, FMM added.