In addition to my work at the University, I did a lot of media work, for various newspapers as well as the SLBC. In those days the media was entirely owned by government, or else strongly supportive of it, an inevitable situation I suppose when the opposition is identified with socialism. I used to wonder therefore why JR continued to cling onto Lake House, contrary to his commitment before the election to reverse the previous government’s nationalization.
That move one could understand, given the relentless animosity Lake House had displayed towards Mrs Bandaranaike’s government, but it was foolish. I have always believed that control of the media is quite useless, at least for the purposes of propaganda, because the vast majority of people do not believe what government owned media outlets say. They therefore become simply instruments of pandering to those in power and, in becoming effusive, they do not bother to be credible. That is why governments that seek to control the media to ensure the results they want at elections end up controlling the elections too.