Ceylon Today newspaper has just published my article titled: Mass Kidney Failure & Mass Media Failure: Go ‘Upstream’ for Remedies!
It is adapted from a paper I presented last week at the International Science Communication Leadership Workshop, held as part of Association of Academies & Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA) General Assembly in Colombo, 16-19 October 2012.
In Sri Lanka, mass kidney failure during the past two decades has been followed by what I call a mass media failure. Most of our media have failed to understand, analyse and report adequately on this public health emergency. Instead of helping affected people and policy makers to work out solutions, some journalists have become amplifiers of extreme activist positions.
As health officials and policy makers struggle with the prolonged humanitarian crisis, partisan media coverage has added to public confusion, suspicion and fear. As a science writer and journalist, I have watched this with growing concern.
This is a critique of the Lankan media sector to which I have belonged, in one way or another, for a quarter century. I hope this will inspire some much-needed self-reflection among our media, which I feel over overstepped the boundaries of advocacy journalism in this issue. As I suggest, a return to first principles can help…
Full article below. Constructive engagement is welcomed.