Sri Lankan newspapers cut page counts and editions continue to print amid economic crisis

Sri Lankan newspapers continue to be printed despite massive economic constraints. The shortage of dollars has also affected media houses, especially organizations active in the printing industry, as newsprint, which is imported, is in short supply.

Some newspapers have also reduced the number of editions and pages. One of them even suspended its publication on Saturdays in order to continue printing its Sunday edition. Sunday papers have always attracted enormous attention as they contain a variety of news – wall stories from Cabinet meetings, biting political commentary, track bits, sports, lifestyle and fashion.

“We are selling like hotcakes,” said Sinha Ratnatunga, editor of the weekly Sunday Times of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, which also prints the Daily Mirror and lankdeepa in the Sinhalese language.

Sinha Ratnatunga, Editor, Sunday Times of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. (Express/Nirupama Subramanian)

Around the world, news consumption increases during times of upheaval, turmoil and disaster, and Sri Lanka is no different. As such, the media tries to keep the news flowing, while keeping pace with social media.

Social media is the new generation’s favored medium fueling protests against the ruling Rajapaksa clan, but newspapers are also in demand, said Sunday Times editor Anthony Davis.

Media organizations hope India’s $1 billion line of credit for essentials will also extend to newsprint, Ratnatunga said.

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