Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL)

Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), which is also known locally as Lake House, is a press publisher whose portfolio consists of over 20 print titles, the most important of which are the daily newspapers Daily News, Dinamina and Thinakaran, and the weekly newspapers Sunday Observer, Silumina and Vaaramanjari.

Media assets

Publishing: Daily News, Dinamina, Thinakaran, Sunday Observer, Silumina, Vaaramanjari, Arogya, Sarasawiya, Budusarana, Manchu, Subasetha, Tharunie, Sithmina, Mihithuru, Vanna Vaanavil, Resa, Mihira, Denamuth, Athuru Mithuru, Wesak Kalapaya

State Media Matrix Typology: Captured Public/State-Managed (CaPu)

Ownership and governance

ANCL entered the government’s hands in 1973 when the company was nationalized through a legal act. Today, the majority stake in ANCL (nearly 88% of all shares) is controlled by the government. The remainder is co-owned by companies and individuals. In most cases, the company’s chairman is a person who used to work for the government.

Source of funding and budget

ANCL is majority funded through commercial revenues. The company had a turnover of LKR 3bn (US$ 20m) in 2018, according to the data from local experts. In 2020, the company reported a loss of LKR 217m, roughly LKR 1.7m higher than in the previous year, according to an audit report.

Editorial independence

Through the management of the company that is appointed by the government as a majority owner, the state exerts full control over the editorial coverage of the ANCL, according to local experts and journalists.

No domestic statute and no independent assessment or oversight mechanism to validate the ANCL’s editorial independence have been identified.

September 2023