ADIC Sri Lanka: Training Young Journalists

The media plays a crucial role in informing citizens about the real effects of alcohol and other drugs, investigating and exposing the unethical practices of harmful industries like the tobacco and alcohol industries and in reporting about policy efforts to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol and other drugs. But media can also be part of the problem, for example when they promote alcohol or tobacco, when they fail to reveal corporate tactics and when they perpetuate myths about alcohol, spreading information that is not evidence-based but helps promote the interests of the alcohol and tobacco industries.

Therefore, it is crucial to work with journalists in collaboration and support them by raising their literacy about everything related to alcohol and other drugs.

Is the media promoting or preventing alcohol and other drugs?

ADIC, the Alcohol and Drug Information Center in Sri Lanka, is doing this ground-breaking work. ADIC is a well recognized and internationally renowned resource centre for innovative, comprehensive and science-based strategies in substance use prevention, including initiatives to expose and counter the tobacco and alcohol industries.

On August 7, 2019, ADIC held a training for students of the College of  Journalism, Sri Lanka. The training gathered 25 young journalists to empower them to address issues of alcohol and other drugs in their journalistic work.

The ground-breaking training covered a host of topics ranging from corporate literacy to the real effects of alcohol and other drugs.

Empowering investigative journalism

Some of the issues the young journalists discussed were:

  • Alcohol industry tactics,
  • Tobacco industry tactics, and
  • Industry manipulations of media and governments.

These topics offer material for future investigative work and the young journalists expressed appreciation for the training. It provides motivation to become investigative journalists in the future.

The training is part of a two-month course that ADIC is conducting for the journalism students.

Many of the participants have already indicated that they wish to volunteer with ADIC once they complete the course.