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Availability of a competent partner organization in a country is critical for effective implementation of MOM. MOM would not have been possible without the commitment and passion shown by the local team convened by Verité Research.

MOM Team

Olaf Steenfadt, Global Project Director  

Olaf heads the "Media Ownership Monitor" project and the "Journalism Trust Initiative" at the press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, RSF. For many years, he has been engaged as a consultant and coach in media development cooperation. Mandates of international organizations and NGOs lead him primarily to Southeast Europe and the Arab world. He previously worked for national German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in various roles, including as a radio and TV presenter, investigative reporter, domestic and foreign correspondent, as well as in format development and corporate communication. Olaf is a member of the "High-level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation" of the European Commission and of the "Committee of Experts on Quality of Journalism in the Digital Age" at the Council of Europe. He teaches frequently at universities in Germany and Europe.

Nafisa Hasanova, Project Manager Sri Lanka, RSF 

Nafisa is the project manager of MOM Sri Lanka and has previously managed MOM Ukraine (2016), MOM Serbia (2017) and MOM Albania (2018) for RSF. Before joining RSF Nafisa worked on Transdniestrian settlement process for the Finnish Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) Martti Ahtisaari Centre. From 2012 to 2014 she worked as policy officer for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia at APRODEV, now ACT Alliance EU in Brussels. In 2008-2012 Nafisa worked as project manager of EUCAM (EU Central Asia Monitoring) at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS and FRIDE) in Brussels. Nafisa, holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and European Studies from the University of Applied Studies in Fulda, Germany. She completed a BA in English Philology at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages in Uzbekistan.

Deepanjalie Abeywardana, Head-media, Verité Research

Deepanjalie has extensive experience in media ethics, media behaviour as well as media and women.  She also trains journalists on media ethics and has taken part in several fellowships and programs on media studies abroad. Additionally, she has experience in conflict resolution and human rights through her studies at University of Oslo, Norway and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Deepanjalie received a BA in International Relations from the University of Colombo and a MA in South Asian Studies from Pondicherry University, India where she was selected as one of the first two Sri Lankans to undertake the MA on a Madanjeet Singh Scholarship. Deepanjalie has worked with a wide range of local and international stakeholders and media practitioners on understanding the Sri Lankan media, media ownership and media’s role in fostering reconciliation.  

Stephanie NicolleLead Researcher, Verité Research

Stephanie is currently working for the Media Team at Verité Research. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English and minors in International Relations and Sociology from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Prior to joining Verité Research, she worked with the International Corpus of English - Sri Lanka in Germany. Having previously worked in media and communications, Stephanie shares a wide range of interests including politics, conflict, and cultural studies, and hopes to pursue these areas in the future. 

Shamana Amjah, Researcher, Verité Research

Shamana is currently attached to Verité Research as a Research Executive. She is a graduate with a Bachelor of Laws with a Second  Class from the University of London.  Further she plans to sit for her Attorneys-at-law at Sri Lanka Law College early 2019. She has served in various volunteering programmes in the field of research and community service. Shamana is very much interested in the broader ambits of international human rights law, world order, security studies and on matters pertaining to international/regional organizations such as the United Nations (UN).

Edward UthayathasResearcher, Verité Research

Edward has worked as a journalist at Athavan News. He is attached to Verité Research's Media Team and worked as a TV presenter for Athavan TV. 

Rochel CanagasabeyResearcher, Verité Research

Rochel is currently attached to Verité Research's Media Team. Concurrently he is pursuing a Masters in Conflict and Peace Studies at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Rochel Canagasabey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in History and Civilization from the American University in Bulgaria. Prior to joining Verité Research, he has served in various internships and volunteering programmes in the field of research, management and community service. Rochel is very much interested in the broader themes of conflict and peace studies, nuclear disarmament, refugee and irregular migration, political history since the 1900s and on matters pertaining to international/regional organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Mahoshadi PeirisResearcher, Verité Research 

Mahoshadi is currently attached to Verité Research's Media Team. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with a Second (Upper) Division from the University of London.  Further she plans to sit for her Attorneys-at-law at Sri Lanka Law College. Prior to joining Verité Research, she has served various internships and organisational positions in legal and communications field. Mahoshadi is very much interested in the broader ambits of international human rights law, world order, security studies, politics and economics.

Vinusha PaulrajResearcher, Verité Research 

Vinusha was a Research Assistant at Verité Research. She has a Masters in International Security Studies from the University of Leicester and is a graduate with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London. She has previously been employed as a journalist and worked in a variety of communications related roles. Vinusha is interested in postcolonial politics, cyber security, and weaponisation.

Dayan SurendranathanResearcher Verité Research

Dayan completed his BA&Sc in Security Studies, Data Science and Philosophy from Quest University in British Columbia, Canada. He worked at Verité Research for his summer internship. Dayan has previously worked on topics such as reconciliation and transitional justice for the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms. 

Lahari JayetilekeResearcher, Verité Research 

Lahari joined Verité Research as an intern after finishing her London A levels in July 2018. She studied English Literature, Economics and Psychology and plans to further her higher education in English literature.

Vidya NathanielLegal Team, MOM Sri Lanka, Verité Research 

While her academic background is in law, Vidya has been working on several economic issues such as non-tariff barriers, trade facilitation, budgetary analysis, and competition related topics. She has worked with stakeholders from private sector chambers, regional chambers and policy makers on initiatives to facilitate more open and transparent policy making in Sri Lanka. She has also worked on a wide range of projects within the development sector relating to land rights, right to information, pharmaceutical policy, media ownership, environmental protection and constitution reform, among others. Her research on the issue of mechanized bottom trawling in Sri Lankan waters led to a national campaign followed by a legislation passed in Parliament to ban bottom trawling in Sri Lanka. Vidya has also completed her Sri Lankan Bar Exams and worked part time as a Junior Counsel to Senior Counsel Viran Corea on fundamental rights and constitutional law cases. She received the LLB from the University of London in 2011 and completed her LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights at the University of Warwick, having received a fully funded Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.

Viran CoreaAdvisor Legal Team MOM Sri Lanka, Verité Research

Viran is a practising lawyer with over two-decades' experience as a counsel (litigator) in Sri Lanka. Prior to reverting to the private bar, he served as a State Counsel at the Attorney General's Department of Sri Lanka for several years. He possesses Bachelor-of-Laws (LL.B) and Master-of-Laws (LL.M) degrees from the University of Colombo.

Over the years, he has appeared as counsel and advised many parties (both state and private) in landmark cases of national and public importance and interest. These include key cases in Sri Lanka pertaining to media regulation and freedom of expression.

He is also a Legal Advisor to Verité Research and for several years has served on the board of a company listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Supun Jayawardena, legal team MOM Sri Lanka, Verite Research 

Verité Research

Verité Research is a private think tank that provides strategic analysis for Asia. Its main research divisions are economics, politics, law and media. Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Verité Research has conducted research for the private sector, the United Nations, multilateral agencies, diplomatic missions, government departments and civil society actors. Verite’s Economics, Law, Politics, and Media teams work collaboratively and in an interdisciplinary manner. This allows Verité to offer clients a unique and holistic understanding of Sri Lanka’s economy, polity and society. Verité’s staff combine diverse expertise with experience from varied sectors. In addition to our full-time staff, Verité also has Senior Advisors and Associates who provide research input on a regular basis. 

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders (Reporter Sans Frontières, RSF) was founded in Montpellier (France) in 1985 by four journalists. It is registered in France as a non-profit organization and has consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. RSF advocates for media freedom, supports independent media and protects endangered journalists worldwide. Its missions are

  • To continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide;
  • To denounce any such attacks in the media;
  • To act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information;
  • To morally and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families.
  • To offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety.

Since 1994, the German section is active in Berlin. Although the German section works closely with the International Secretariat in Paris to research and evaluate media freedom worldwide, it is organizationally and financially independent. In that role, it has applied for a grant at the federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – in order to finance the Media Ownership Monitor project.

Global Media Registry

The Global Media Registry (GMR) collects, compiles and provides – either publicly available or self-reported – datasets and contextual information on media outlets around the world.

In doing so, the objective is to enhance transparency, accountability and responsibility in the information space. Thus, the GMR facilitates better choices and decision making, both algorithmic and human, of all stakeholders. These may include every citizen and consumer, regulators and donors, as well as the private sector – for example advertisers and intermediaries (a. k. a. platforms and distributors).

By providing this public service as a social enterprise, the Global Media Registry contributes to the advancement of the freedoms of information and expression at large.

It was founded as a spin-off from the Media Ownership Monitor project, which it now operates as a non-for-profit LLC registered under German law.

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