12/18/2009

Live coverage of nomination day by Sri Lanka public media bias and partisan to Rajapakse , election monitors say

(December 18, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Amidst Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse's blatant illegal misuse of public property in his run to elect for the second term, one of the major election monitoring movement has written to the Election Commissioner regarding the bias and partisan live telecast of the nomination day by the public television channels. The television channel did not give equal importance to all candidates and gave an unethical prominence to the President Mahinda Rajapakse.


The content of the letter is as follows:
 
In Relation to the Live Telecast of Nomination Day for the 2010 Presidential Election
 
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) would like to strongly protest against the biased and partisan nature of the Nomination Day Live Telecast for the 2010 Presidential Election shown today the 17th of December 2010.
 
The access and rights to telecast this important national occasion had only been granted to the State owned Rupavahini Channel. They have used this honorable occasion in a very biased and partisan manner currently.
 
Although every Presidential Candidate should get an equal amount of importance during the Live Telecast of the Presidential Nomination Event only ONE candidate was given importance. Not displaying the names of some candidates and their picture next to their name while displaying the name and picture of select candidates was a glaring obvious example of this biased and partisan conduct.
 
Furthermore, during the live telecast television presenters repeatedly mentioned the campaign slogan of one particular candidate. This biased and partisan reporting goes beyond the accepted norms and ethics of unbiased media reporting.
 
CaFFE observes that the situation was made into a totally partisan scenario and this situation arose because the rights to the live telecast were given to only one television channel. It is essential that Election Department take responsible charge of the situation and ensures that no single candidate gets an irregularly high amount of media time in the future Presidential Election period.
 
The situation has arisen again in which the requirement for a Competent Authority for State Media has once again been created by the partisan approach adopted the National State Television Channel of Sri Lanka when telecasting the nationally important nomination day. CaFFE would like to request you to look into this matter urgently.
 

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