In light of a Government unable and unwilling to investigate violence against journalists and independent media, satire is one way in which violent events, processes and individuals can be held up for public scrutiny more frequently.
Banyan News Reporters on Groundviews has taken off quite well and now features a couple of submissions looking at recent events and processes in Sri Lanka related to humanitarian aid and terrorism.
There are dangers of using satire. As this example from the New York Times highlights, it can be perceived as propaganda and be taken seriously. However, keen to ultimately see the development of a local variant of The Onion, I instigated BNR as a way to channel the creativity of citizen journalists to highlight individuals, issues and processes linked to war, peace and governance in a manner different to the usual prose published on Groundviews.
On the blogosphere and on Facebook, precursors to BNR can be seen in the likes of Mahinda Rajapakse’s blog and Facebook profiles for the President, Prabhakaran and the Leader of the Opposition. But as Indi notes, real life is often more absurd and bizarre.