Rebuilding Public Trust – An assessment of the media industry and profession in Sri Lanka

This publication is an assessment of the media environment in Sri Lanka using the Media Development Indicators (MDIs), an internationally accepted framework developed by UNESCO to assess the state of media in a country. MDIs identify strengths and weaknesses, and propose evidence-based recommendations on how to enhance media freedom and media pluralism.

The assessment, which was co-published by International Media Support, was led by the Secretariat for Media Reforms established as a virtual group consisting of five partners with meeting facilities provided by Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI). They carried out a consultative process that began in march 2015 engaging policy makers, media owners, media practitioners, advocacy groups as well as the media-consuming public.

The analysis presented in this report shows that structural and legal reforms in the media sector are long overdue. Some of these reforms must come from within the media profession and industry itself and stem from serious self-reflection. Other reforms require changes in laws, state policies and the overhauling of state-owned media institutions. Parallel to this, journalism and mass media education courses should be reviewed and updated to meet current industry needs and media consumption patterns. Low media literacy levels in society must also be addressed.

Download a Tamil version here.