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New media, a threat to younger generation - Press Council Chairman

Sri Lanka Press Council Chairman Koggala Wellalage said the electronic and print media and the Facebook are misleading the public by carrying distorted news reports.

Distorted reports will spoil the minds of the reader and schoolchildren, he said addressing journalists at the Kalutara district workshop held at the Garden Beach Hotel in Kalutara.

The workshop was organised by the Press Council with the support of Kalutara District Secretary U. D. C. Jayalal.

Wellalage said over 200 complaints had been received against media institutions and journalists at the Council.These complaints are under investigation.Under the Press Council Bill, rules and regulations, these journalists or the institutions will have to face imprisonment and fine if found guilty, he said.

“Local journalists must be responsible for the news reports they submit to their respective editors for publication. A booklet containing guidelines for journalists and editors of newspapers will be published in due course by the Press Council,”the Chairman said.

The Chairman said parents must pay special attention to their children who use electronic media and social media like the Facebook. “Certain stories appearing in new media can corrupt the minds of schoolchildren and the younger generation,” he said.

Lecturer Tudor Weerasinghe said the entire world is governed by the new global mass media that had become a death trap for the younger generation.

“If it is not handled carefully by schoolchildren their lives would end in disaster. The government must control the effects of mass media and the facedbook,”he said.