Veteran Journalist Edmund Ranasinghe Honored for Transformative Change in Journalism
Sri Lankan journalist Edmund Ranasinghe, who played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the field of journalism, was felicitated for his outstanding contributions at a ceremony held at the presidential secretariat. The event was hosted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who personally acknowledged and celebrated Ranasinghe’s lengthy and influential career.
During the ceremony, a book titled Edmundge Paththara Viplawaya (The Newspaper Revolution of Edmund) was unveiled. The book comprises articles written by other esteemed newspaper editors and journalists, paying tribute to Ranasinghe’s exceptional work. President Wickremesinghe presented the first copy of the book to Ranasinghe, signifying the significance of his accomplishments.
Speaking at the event, President Wickremesinghe commended Ranasinghe for his remarkable efforts in using journalism as a catalyst for social, economic, and political progress in the country. He emphasized the significant changes happening in the print media landscape, with traditional journalism evolving to include modern tools such as the iPad. The President also highlighted the importance of keeping pace with advancing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) in the future of media.
President Wickremesinghe further discussed the challenges posed by online and social media platforms, stating that while print media adhered to national laws, the digital realm lacks appropriate regulations. He mentioned the ongoing concerns within the European Union regarding this issue and emphasized the need for accountability in online media.
Upali Tennakoon, former editor-in-chief of Divaina and Rivira newspapers, delivered the keynote address, shedding light on Ranasinghe’s dedicated service to journalism. He noted that Ranasinghe always considered his work to be a service rather than a pursuit of awards. Tennakoon spoke highly of Ranasinghe’s mentorship, stating that he had played a pivotal role in shaping many prominent figures in today’s media industry.
Ranasinghe embarked on his media journey in 1952 at Lake House but resigned in 1973 in protest against the government’s takeover of the newspaper. He later returned in 1977 as the editor of Dinamina and subsequently became the editor of Silumina. In 1981, he became the founding editor of Divaina at Upali Newspapers. Even after retirement, he continued to contribute as a consultant editor for Silumina newspaper.
Tennakoon highlighted Ranasinghe’s commitment to fostering an intelligent readership, rather than merely filling pages. Throughout his career, Ranasinghe aimed to enhance reader interest and cultivate a discerning audience.
The book’s editor, Prof Sunanda Madduma Bandara, also addressed the audience, along with President’s Media Director W M K Wijayabandara and Deputy Media Director Deepti Adhikari, who assisted in the editing process.
This recognition of Edmund Ranasinghe’s transformative impact on journalism serves as a testament to his enduring legacy and the profound influence he had on the media landscape in Sri Lanka. His dedication to the field and high standards of journalistic excellence continue to inspire aspiring journalists and editors.