11 March 2013
To better understand how a cultural cross-section of society perceives the work of the United Nations, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Colombo monitors the news throughout the country daily.
The UN delivers messages relevant to peace, security and development both globally and locally, keeping in mind the prevailing socio-economic situation to ensure the right message is delivered to the right audience.
Through the UN Communication Group in Sri Lanka, UNIC created a Selective Dissemination of Information Service whereby each morning it collects, assembles and disseminates through an E-News bulletin to each UN Agency Head and communication focal point, UN activities reported on in the media.
Every day, UNIC scans seven newspapers, three in English and four in Sinhala, selecting articles relating to the UN System both locally and globally. Also, a UN Volunteer monitored articles mentioning the UN from a Tamil newspaper and translated into English, are sent to UNIC electronically for inclusion in the E- News update.
This service assists the Country Team in assessing how well it is meeting the goals of its work. For example, UNICEF Communication Officer Ms. Misbah Sheikh opined “In the absence of regular user surveys, media monitoring is an important tool for the UN system to remain abreast of what is being said about key issues in the country as well as to gauge perceptions of the UN amongst different segments of the media.”
While UNIC organizes outreach to the general public, internal information dissemination is another form of outreach communication, which covers activities of other agencies, UN Days and other observances.