NewsFirst joins the Public Media Alliance

27th March 2024
The Public Media Alliance offers a warm welcome to Sri Lanka’s foremost news organisation. 
Who is News 1st?

NewsFirst or News 1st is a Sri Lankan media network, with a mantra of “WITHTHEPEOPLE”, providing news in three different languages (English, Sinhala and Tamil) across three TV channels, five radio stations and online services.

Set up in the 1990’s, it is owned by the Capital Maharaja Group, which also owns a number of different media houses in Sri Lanka, including MBC and MTV. Collectively, these broadcasters reach 85% of homes across the country.

News 1st has been commended for its work in emergency response. In 2023, the broadcaster was awarded a Disaster Management Award in Tokyo by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management, “for outstanding reporting under extreme conditions during times of natural disasters, through decades of humanitarian response which includes relief, preparedness, awareness, and even Search & Rescue”.

The organisation also engages in rural development projects and emergency humanitarian relief through its celebrated Gammadda initiative, which is considered as the largest grassroot rural development movement in Sri Lanka.

The Public Media Alliance (PMA) is the largest global association of public service media organisations. Founded in 1946, it exists to advocate for the role of public media in democratic society.  VRT and RTBF are also recent additions to the alliance, which now counts over 50 members across six continents, including the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and Thai PBS.

“We at NewsFirst are excited to unite with the Public Media Alliance, forging a collective narrative that transcends boundaries. Together, we can navigate the evolving media landscape, championing public interest and fostering a global dialogue that informs, inspires, and connects.”

– Chevaan Daniel, Group Director, MTV Channels (Private) Limited.

Kristian Porter

I am proud to welcome Sri Lanka’s foremost news broadcaster to the Public Media Alliance. For over 20-years, the organisation has led the way in reporting news in the public interest, especially during times of crisis and upheaval. I look forward to collaborating with the News1st team to share knowledge and work in support of public media worldwide.” 

– Kristian Porter, CEO of PMA