Commercial Industries and Public Health: The role of the Smart Journalist A Residential Workshop for Journalists

“Commercial Industries and Public Health: The role of the Smart Journalists” residential workshop was held on 19-20th August 2019 in the Amora Lagoon Hotel, Katunayake. Thirteen Journalists representing print and Electronic media attended the workshop.

Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya, Director, CCT introduced the objectives of the workshop at its beginning.  The industry interference in Public Health was explained to the participants by Dr. Manuja Perera, Editor/TobaccoUnmasked. A group discussion was moderated by Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya and the Senior journalist Mr. Malinda Senavirathne on the Sri Lankan experience in industry interference in journalism followed the presentations.

Mr. Sampath de Seram from the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) Sri Lanka described about the role of Sri Lankan Media with the examples from Tobacco Alcohol and other drugs promotions in print and electronic media. Following that Dr. Rajasuriya explained about hidden unintentional promotions and the role of a journalist on countering industry interference in Public Helath. Mr. Hasan Shahriar Head of Tobacco Control Program and Director, PROGGA, Bangladesh joined the workshop via zoom and explained about the Anti-Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA), the Bangladesh network of journalists for tobacco control. A hands on session on Truth Tobacco Document Library, TobaccoUnmasked website and TobaccoUnmasked HotSpots mobile app was conducted by the CCT team.

During the discussion on the ‘way forward’ all the journalists who participated agreed to network and collaborate with CCT to combat tobacco industry interferences in public health and media in Sri Lanka.

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