FT.LK: Media ethics & advertorials in Sri Lanka

Cross-posted on socialmedia.lk

This article on the ft.lk is an example of dubious media ethics in Sri Lanka. I point it out not to nitpick, but because it is indicative of an industry that is crucial to the health of a nation. A robust and trustworthy news industry is a vital component of a healthy society.

The ft.lk newspaper seems to be using technology provided by a company called Emojet to run a poll online. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it is disturbing to see what seems to be an advertorial masquerading as a news article on the home page of the ft.lk website.

This article is shoddy journalism not just because it isn’t clearly marked as an advertorial. Many of the claims contained in it bear more relationship to a press release and do not seems to be substantiated in any way.

Most egregious is the claim:

Digital platforms such as the online paper (www.ft.lk), its FB page (https://www.facebook.com/dailyft/), twitter (@FT_SriLanka) and Whatsapp were all utilized to share the link. In 48 hours a wide array of responses from Sri Lanka and across the globe were received.

This appears to be hugely dubious. The tweet from the FT has only seven retweets and seven likes.

The Facebook post has no likes, shares or comments.

Articles like this undermine the credibility of the ft.lk as both a news source and an advertising platform and ultimately benefit no-one.