“Plight of Professional Journalism in Sri Lanka”-UTU project Press Conference

Under the guidance and support of the IFJ-International Federation of journalists, FMETU conducted a Union to Union project with the participation of more than 350 journalists around the country. It was held in different methods such as introducing a google form to collect data on the journalists and create a Database, conducting a workshop for young journalists about Mobile journalism and they made 15 videos that reviewed the Professionalism and the rights of journalists through these videos. On the 1st of December 2022, a press conference was held at the Rainbow Institute to release the said report to the media.

“Orange the world: Unite to end violence against women!”

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms, encompassing: intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment); human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation); female genital mutilation; and child marriage.

To further clarify, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

In support of a global campaign and to contribute locally to end Gender Based Violence in Sri Lanka, the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has decided to host a roundtable discussion to discuss Gender and Media issues in Sri Lanka. The meeting will be held on 1st December 2022, at Gallery Cafe with participation by female editors, members of the parliamentary women’s caucus, and representatives of the media organizations in Sri Lanka.

Plight of Professional Journalists in Sri Lanka revealed


The General Secretary of the Federation of Media Workers Trade Unions Mr. Dharmasiri Lankapeli and the Deputy General Secretary Mrs. Indira Navagamuwa held a discussion with the Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment Mr. Manusha Nanayakkara on November 22, 2022, at the Ministry, which revealed the sad working conditions of professional journalists in Sri Lanka.

The Federation of Media Employees Unions explained in this discussion that journalism is the only profession that does not have the basic professional rights that the majority of professional journalists in Sri Lanka should have.

A report compiled a unique exploration of the professional status of journalists and the challenges faced by the media industry by the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions The matter was clarified to the minister.

The IFJ-Union to Union (UTU) Global Union program with the guidance and support of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) organized this program.

The Minister also agreed to hold a broad discussion on the professional issues faced by journalists and the challenges faced by the media industry on December 13 with a large representation of journalists.


Rishi Sunak to become UK’s first British Asian prime minister

“The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis.
That’s why I am standing to be Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister.
I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country”.

Rishi is a British politician who has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 24 October 2022. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022 and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020.He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015.
Sunak was born in Southampton to parents of Punjabi Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s.He was educated at Winchester College, read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Lincoln College, Oxford, and gained an MBA from Stanford University in California as a Fulbright Scholar.
Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for Richmond in North Yorkshire at the 2015 general election, succeeding William Hague. Sunak supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership. He was appointed to Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 reshuffle. He voted three times in favour of May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement.
After May resigned, Sunak supported Boris Johnson’s campaign to become Conservative leader. After Johnson was elected and appointed Prime Minister, he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Sunak replaced Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer after his resignation in the February 2020 cabinet reshuffle.
As Chancellor, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He resigned as chancellor on 5 July 2022, citing his economic policy differences with Johnson in his resignation letter. Sunak’s resignation, along with the resignation of Javid as Health Secretary, led to Johnson’s resignation amid a government crisis.
In July 2022, he stood in the Conservative party leadership election to replace Johnson,and lost the members’ vote to Liz Truss.Following Truss’s resignation amid a government crisis, Sunak won the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.

Media Oligarchy and Shaping NEWS

Concentrated media power has been a major (in some ways dominant) force behind the subversion of democratic politics in the United States, a force driven by commercialized images and narratives, celebrity and sports spectacles, profit-making, and mostly conservative opinion—all resulting in a narrowing of the public sphere.
Media capacity to shape popular consciousness—or forge ideological hegemony—turns on both structure and content of communications transmitted across the terrain. In advanced state-capitalist society, and especially the United States, media culture appears as the dominant and in many ways all-consuming mode of communication.
Here we refer to more than just information since the media reproduces images, stories, myths, and spectacles that, in diverse ways, help sustain existing institutions, practices, and values. In this complex modality, corporate media forms a uniquely thriving propaganda system, reaching into every corner of society with high levels of technological sophistication, material resources, and ideological legitimation.

Understanding media oligarchy
To understand contemporary Indonesia one must understand how media oligarchy works here. Media oligarchy shapes the news the public consume every day. News have become increasingly biased and partisans. The most obvious examples are news coverage on the presidential election in 2014. Media were between the two rival camps.
Recent trends have involved oligopolistic ownership, deregulation, expansion of advertising, and rightward shift in political content. Expanded corporate control—over film, TV, cable, radio, print journalism, the Internet—has meant a steady decline of citizenship coinciding with the spread of political alienation discussed elsewhere in this book.
As media culture becomes more integral to all realms of American public life, its effects have been profoundly depoliticizing and thus undemocratic.
A vibrant, democratized communications system would of course impose relatively few limits to political discourse, especially on issues (finance, jobs, the environmental threats, warfare) of urgent importance to public welfare. Media culture largely defines how crucial issues are framed, valorized, and contextualized, what is emphasized, what is trivialized, and what is ignored or dismissed altogether. It establishes the range of views permitted and who is allowed to express those views. While media and popular culture appear open and diversified, in fact those who manage this trillion-dollar empire devote abundant time and resources to governing the flow of information.
However, the decline in trust in mainstream media has not been followed by growth of credible alternative media. Consequently, most people fall victim to hoaxes. Hoaxes and fake news become easily viral because people tend to seek information that would affirm their own beliefs. Some groups see this as an opportunity to gain money from producing fake news.
To make it worse, the internet and social media have also empowered media oligarchs. Media owners are more aggressive in buying competitors to expand their media business, integrating with other businesses, and investing in digital media and communication infrastructure.
Some media owners also enter the political arena by forming parties and placing their cadres in governmental positions. Similar to the political realm, media companies increasingly look like a dynasty: slowly inherited to family members.

Indira Priyadarshini Nawagamuwa

Stop gender-based violence in the media

Violence and harassment against women journalists can occur everywhere: in newsrooms, in relation to their sources, at home, on the way home, online. Violence and harassment have devastating implications for the targeted journalist as her well-being, her work, her private life and eventually press freedom are affected.

To mark 25 November, The International day for the elimination of violence against women and girls, the IFJ is calling on all its unions to campaign for the full ratification by their government of ILO Convention 190. Read the testimonies of IFJ Gender Council members in Canada, Cyprus, Greece, Peru and Portugal on why ratification of the Convention is key for women journalists.
he International Labour Organization (ILO) passed on 10 June 2019 a new Convention – ILO C190 to end violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as a recommendation, 206.

We need this convention and its recommendation to be ratified by governments across the world.
Why? Because it can save journalists’ and citizens’ lives by outlawing harassment and violence in the world of work and turn workplaces into violence-free zones.

Journalism can be a dangerous profession. In order to cover breaking stories, journalists put themselves in contexts of war, conflict and natural disasters. In order to report on corruption, human rights abuses and political chicanery, journalists often incur the wrath of the most powerful in society.

Women journalists who find themselves in such situations are often the specific focus of violence. According to IFJ statistics, almost 65% of women media workers have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work. This is a threat to freedom of expression and media freedom.
Abuse can come from all directions: a senior-editor who uses his position to intimidate a young female journalist; a female reporter reporting outside being groped or receiving sexist comments or being physically assaulted by her interviewee or bystanders.

ILO C190 can bring about change. It changes female journalists’ lives by outlawing violence in the world of work and making it a health and safety issue media employers have to respond to.

Today, ask your government to ratify the convention and make a change in your newsroom.

Five things to know about ILO Convention 190 on harassment and violence in the world of work

  • Once it’s ratified by your government it becomes legally binding
  •  It protects all media workers irrespective of their status (freelance, interns, part-time)
  •  It makes violence and harassment a health and safety issue. Media employers will need to include violence and harassment when managing occupational health and safety issues.
  •  It covers gender-based violence, including: sexual harassment, bullying,
    stalking, online harassment and all other forms of violence.
  •  It includes domestic violence because it can have a big impact on your mental health and performance at work.

Here’s what your union can do NOW:

Inform your members about violence and harassment in the workplace.
Include language on ending violence and harassment at work in collective bargaining agreements, using C190 and its recommendation R206 as a basis.
Work with media to make sure that health and safety policies include violence and harassment, and more specifically gender-based violence.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

UN: IFJ leads call for action to fight impunity

Launching of the campaign for a UN Convention on the Safety and Independence of Journalists and Other Media Professionals at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Credit: Dina Abu Saab.

Geneva, October 4, 2022 – The campaign for a new binding international instrument dedicated to the safety of journalists has been formally launched at the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The call for a new UN Convention to enhance the safety, protection and independence of media workers has been backed by journalists and media unions, associations, media representative bodies and NGOs across the world.

Forward Stride in Safeguarding Sri Lankan Journalists’ Rights FMETU-IFJ-UTU 2022 Program

The Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions, FMETU is pleased to announce a major stride forward in its efforts to protect journalists’   rights and enhance professionalism amongst Journalists in Sri Lanka

This is facilitated by FMETU – IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) Union-to-Union program 2022.

The primary objective of the FJ-UTU 2022 program is to strengthen the professional rights of FMETU member journalists and media workers.  In this context, we are collecting information on the professional status of a representative sample of journalists, island-wide and presenting this information through an online database.

The project also facilitates us to empower young journalists by linking them with senior journalists and discussing with them about professional rights and responsibilities of journalists and the role of media trade unions. The young journalists are being empowered further by training them on mobile journalism and supporting them to produce 15 short videos on professional issues.

The IFJ-UTU support program for strengthening regional media organizations is managed annually by the IFJ Asia Pacific office. The main objective of the program is to equip members with the necessary knowledge and skills to play an effective role as a trade union in the new global digital economy. The program is designed to educate journalists and media workers in order to lobby and stand up for the basic professional rights of journalists.

FMETU kicked off the project to empower members with two webinars in the local languages, Sinhala and Tamil languages with the participation of 300 journalists from all over the country.

On September 3, the training on mobile journalism will be conducted through a full-day workshop. The lead resource person is Dr. Sameera Thilakawardena, Ph.D., a Communications expert, specializing in digital media and cinema.

After the training, 15 investigative videos on professional issues and challenges faced by journalists and media workers will be produced and shared through the fmetu.org website.

At the conclusion of the program, an analytical report on the professional issues and challenges of journalists will be released on the internet through fmetu.org. The Federation of Media Employees Trade Union also intends to present this report to the relevant Government authorities and lobby for critical changes.

The Secretary of the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions told fmetu.org that the primary objective of this program is to establish a group of professional journalists who are entitled to social security and other rights enjoyed by employees in Sri Lanka.


FMETU invites   journalists who are interested in joining the campaign to register their support by logging on to the link https://tinyurl.com/FMETU-PROFILE before 5 September 2022



Sri Lanka: Security forces attack journalists and unarmed protestors

22 July 2022
Sri Lanka: Security forces attack journalists and unarmed protestors

by IFJ
Sri Lankan security forces carried out a violent raid on the Galle Face protest site in Colombo on July 22, attacking and detaining journalists and unarmed protestors. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Sri Lankan affiliates, the Free Media Movement (FMM), the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions (FMETU) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), strongly condemn the brutal attacks on the media and call on the new Sri Lankan government to end its assault on press freedom.

Do you have questions? Call or visit us.

+(94) 773 641 111

#30, Amarasekara Mawatha, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka.



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