Journalists claim amidst the current economic crisis many challenges have arisen in running media organisations in Sri Lanka.
The concerns were raised at the Sub Committee on Identifying the Short & Medium-Term Programmes related to Economic Stabilisation of the National Council held today (15) to discuss issues faced by media in the face of the economic crisis while related solutions and proposals were discussed under the patronage of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka.
Journalists representing mainstream media organisations such as television, radio and newspapers as well as web and social media were invited to the meeting.
It was revealed that the money allocated for advertisements has decreased by approximately 70% due to the increase in production costs.
It was also revealed that due to power cuts during prime time, the number of commercials received by TV stations has decreased and in the current economy they bear high costs for the production of programmes.
Journalists representing newspapers stated that due to the increase in production costs including the shortage of paper, there has been a major setback in the print industry.
They also pointed out that as a result, the pages in newspapers have been limited and prices increased.
They noted that due to the reduction of newspaper pages, space limitations have arisen for regional journalists and they have not been able to make payments.
Another issue that was raised was the difficulties in paying salaries to permanent staff at some newspaper organisations.
Print journalists noted that the circulation of newspapers among the public has dropped significantly.
In addition to the economic crisis, it was also revealed that newspaper and radio have to face major challenges due to the current digital media trends including social media.
It was further highlighted that the government must make a joint effort to reach one goal for all media organisations to prepare the public to face the current situation.
The committee chairman meanwhile said based on the facts revealed a proposal will be compiled related to the media sector in the next report to be submitted before the National Council.