Daily Mirror – Press Freedom Day

Sri Lanka’s media freedom has deteriorated to the point of being ranked amongst the world’s ‘15 worst countries for media freedom’ by Reporters Without Borders. Amnesty International estimates over 15 journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2006 and although the Sri Lankan public knew of the censorship taking place, they were unaware of the truly grave situation facing the media as this too was hidden under heavy censorship.

Daily Mirror, the most read English daily newspaper in the country, wanted to direct attention to this issue on ‘World Press Freedom Day’ (3rd May) and strengthen its image as a dependable, independent news provider.
Since the Daily Mirror reflects the true situation in the country, the insight used to drive home the need for media freedom, was that images in a mirror are distorted when the mirror cannot properly fulfill its function and reflect what it sees – just like the media in the country.

Using the above insight, we ‘special printed’ the cover page of the Daily Mirror newspaper as a ‘special mirrored page’. The only easy-to-read line on the page was the sentence “Only true freedom of the press can turn things the right way around”.

If a reader wanted to read the news content of the front cover, they had to hold the newspaper to a mirror and read the reflection. Most of Sri Lanka’s morning programmes on TV and Radio featured the Daily Mirror front page. The airtime generated on this launch day alone exceeded USD 68,000 with over 60 minutes of free airtime. By evening it was gaining attention across the web with people sharing articles & pictures, and journalists blogging about the advertisement. Even one of India’s highest selling newspapers, the Hindustan Times, paid tribute to the Daily Mirror for its courageous effort to stand up for press freedom.