Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena presenting the ‘Asidisi’ Media Scholarship to a journalist at the Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at the auditorium of the Mass Media Ministry yesterday. Mass Media Ministry Secretary and Lake House Chairman Anusha Palpita was also present on this occasion. The ‘Asidisi’ Media Scholarships are awarded to selected journalists annually as a non-refundable financial grant by the Mass Media Ministry for them to follow academic courses which are related to the journalistic career with the objective of equipping all journalists with the knowledge, skills and attitudes. Picture by Gayan Pushpika

Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said that the Chartered Institute for Journalists will be set up next year aiming to strengthen the professionalism of journalists.

He added that the media persons have been rendering enormous service to society and it is the government’s duty to strengthen journalists with knowledge.

Speaking at the presentation of Asidisi scholarship scheme for journalists at the Media Ministry premises yesterday, the Minister added that a journalist with humane values should be created

“The Media Ministry has made an investment by implementing this scholarship for journalists which cannot be accessed in financial terms. A journalist should have in depth knowledge on all areas if he wants to succeed,” he said.

The Minister added that the country has seen vast deterioration in terms of moral and cultural values.

The Minister added that people of all communities should have a freedom to have a political view of their choice. “That freedom was denied in the country. Every journalist should have humane qualities. Former Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa brought this Asidisi Scholarship concept. He deserves the credit for initiating this concept”, the Minister said.

The Minister added that the Information Technology, Bio Technology and Engineering Technology are becoming popular in the country.

Mass Media Ministry Secretary and Lake House Chairman Anusha Palpita said that this scholarship scheme was implemented by former Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa when he was the Media Minister.

“Whichever the government in power, this programme has been continuing and more and more journalists were benefitted by this programme, he said.

Over 980 journalists have been granted this scholarship so far and the 49 journalists are also given scholarship for this year too, Palpita said.