Posts Tagged ‘freedom of press’

Sri Lankan editor and Integrity Awards winner shot dead

9 January 2009

The assassination of Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga comes as a shock to the anti-corruption community. Wickramatunga was editor of the Sunday Leader and winner of Transparency International’s 2000 Integrity Award, awarded to honor his fearless efforts in exposing corruption in Sri Lankan politics.

Sanjana Hattotuwa from Vikalpa, a citizen journalism initiative located in Sri Lanka, posts an interesting comment on ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) stating that:

It’s really horrible that it takes an event of such a tragic nature to propel our work higher in this list [top 100 list on YouTube amongst Reporter’s Channel worldwide], but it does also demonstrate once again that short videos on YouTube in particular, and online video in general, can be a powerful platform for activism and advocacy. (…)

Vikalpa’s YouTube Channel channel reaches and generates far more people and interest respectively than its website, which gets around 350 readers on average a day. This is significant in a country that does not enjoy good bandwidth (most of the viewers and readers are from Sri Lanka). It suggests that online video – especially short videos – can be and are re-distributed, cross-featured, emailed the links to, embedded, downloaded and copied and if their license allows it, re-worked and re-edited to create viral campaigns, including those on social networks such as Facebook and Myspace, that can meaningfully strengthen real world activism and advocacy against violence.

These observations are very relevant when looking at supporting, recognising and advocating for the work anti-corruption activists all around the globe, but also, when looking at covering corruption by activists such as the series of YouTube-videos on police corruption in Morocco show (see example).

Sunday Leader Editor in Chief Lasantha Wickremetunge murdered – English, documentary by Vikalpa.

A video on the 2000 Integrity Awards ceremony will be available on YouTube shortly and integrated in this post [Unfortunately we couldn’t make this available as digitalizing the VCR was not possible for an affordable amount].

For more information see TI’s international press release, the press release of TI’s chapter in Sri Lanka, as well as a feature by the BBC.