Tuesday, 24th August , 2021, 08:26 pm,BDST

Ethics in journalism is a must for society development: Hasan



Staff Reporter

August 24 , 2021Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said the practice of ethics in mass media is very important in the multidimensional development of society and state.

He came up with the remark while speaking at a discussion on ‘Bangabandhu in Journalism’ organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) at Segunbagicha in the capital marking the National Mourning Day.

Speaking as the chief guest, Hasan, also the Awami League Joint General Secretary, said the expansion and freedom of mass media are very necessary in multidimensional development of the state, democracy and society, and at the same time, ethics in journalism is vital to this end too.

Otherwise, he said, the fourth pillar of the state as well as the state itself will be affected, while the aim of media will be successful if there is ethics in journalism apart from its expansion.

Asking a question about the declaration of the newspapers, which are not being published regularly, the information minister said: “These are ghost newspapers. Employees (of these newspapers) are not paid and they are involved in various misdeeds including extortion.”

This disgrace is put on the journalist society, which is not right at all, he said, adding, “That’s why we have started taking action against the ghost newspapers”.

Terming online media as the reality of today’s world, Hasan said the registration of online media is being given only by collecting data, not haphazardly.

Besides, he said, action is being taken against the online news portals being run in other purposes.

“At the same time, applications of about 600 internet protocol televisions (IPTVs) have already been received. A High Court justice also commented on the issue in a case, which is the part of verdict.

“We are also looking at this case with caution. According to the policy approved by the Cabinet, the IPTVs could not air any news. Apart from giving registration to IPTVs, action will also be taken (against the authorised IPTVs) soon,” the information minister said.

About Bangabandhu’s stance on journalism, he said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a journalist-friendly leader, while those who were journalists at that time they provided their firm support to Bangabandhu.

That is why, Hasan said, it was easy for Bangabandhu to spread his philosophy and thoughts among the people.

He said a special situation was created in the country after independence where a woman – Basanti – wearing her a net, which was more expensive than a sari, was constantly being misrepresented in some newspapers by publishing her pictures.

Later, upon his return to home, Bangabandhu met Basanti and built a house for her, he added.

The AL joint general secretary said after establishing Bakshal, Bangabandhu formed a committee involving journalists to determine the number of newspapers, where Mizanur Rahman, Prof Khaled, Anisuzzaman Khan, Gias Kamal Chowdhury, Amanullah Khan, Abdul Gani Hazari and the then deputy secretary of the Information Ministry Salimuzzaman worked as its members.

Apart from this, Hasan said, the advice of journalist Enayetullah Khan was also taken to this end. “As per their advices, the number of newspapers was minimised. But no journalist remained unemployed. Most of the sacked journalists were given jobs elsewhere and the rest went to the Information and Radio Ministry to get their allowances,” he said.

He said none did in the past what Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has done for the country’s journalists, while she took an initiative to help journalists amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The information minister said the premier formed a trust fund for journalists and now they are getting benefit from it.

“Now it is a resort for journalists. If any journalist dies, his or her family gets Taka three lakh. A draft policy has been prepared to help the families of journalists,” he said.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also given the land on which DRU was constructed, while Bangabandhu gave the land of Jatiya Press Club. The journey of the private television channels also started with the hands of Bangabandhu’s daughter. A huge employment opportunities has been created there,” Hasan said.

Chaired by DRU president Mursalin Nomani and conducted by its general secretary Moshiur Rahman Khan, the meeting was also addressed, among others, by DBC24 channel chairman Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, former president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, former DRU presidents M Shafiqul Karim and Saiful Islam and its former general secretaries Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo and Raju Ahmed.

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