Hail the national broadcaster! | Daily News

Hail the national broadcaster!

The strong case of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

For 95 years, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation has served the country as the national radio channel. Ninety-five is no minor matter in human life. Plus, it is a giant step in the digital history of Sri Lanka. A book was released recently to celebrate this occasion.

Titled The National Broadcaster, the book curates that longstanding historical tale of the SLBC. The Corporation produced quite a lot of legends, most of whom are not only dead and gone, but also forgotten to today’s audience. Only a handful may be alive to tell the tale of that long history.

Of sound, visual, print, the sound is the oldest medium. It remains without and beyond compare. To claim that Sri Lanka’s national broadcaster that goes by the name of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation recently completed 95 years is big talk. It is a long period and quite noteworthy on several grounds.

Information and knowledge

With an incredible amplification of digitalisation, radio remains stable. It proves that the listener never vanishes into thin air. To commemorate the 95 years, The book is edited by Tilakaratne Kuruwitabandara, who is a veteran author and poet. He currently serves as the consultant to the Corporation.

No present or future cannot survive without the proper knowledge of history. Likewise, for any media student interested in the history of the sound medium, Kuruwitabandara’s anthology-like book offers quite a vast corpus of information and knowledge. The magazine could be more aptly termed a comprehensive manual on the genesis of Sri Lanka’s oldest radio channel. Studying the genesis of this channel is important not only because it belongs to Sri Lanka. But it placed Sri Lanka in the South Asian region map as the country that commenced broadcasting for the first time when it was Ceylon.

Unique broadcaster

The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation remains unrivalled in its effort to sustain the country’s spiritual ethics and culture. Among the features it protected are the language, literature, music, drama, spiritual cultivation, health, agriculture, national development, national reconciliation by conducting programmes in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Although many radio channels have sprung up, the national service is still the favourite channel of many regardless of whether they are youngsters or not. This is simply because the channel caters sensitively to all the ethnic groups of the country. As its chief editor, Kuruwitabandara, points out, the channel considered the ethnic groups as the petals of one flower. This is a beautiful metaphor.

The mushrooming radio channels probably want their oldest rival gone, or maybe not. But one thing is clear. The national broadcaster stands tall.