Journalists ‘fearless warriors’ during coronavirus pandemic: Info Minister

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Monday lauded journalists as ‘fearless warriors’ for working through the coronavirus pandemic ignoring risks to their lives.

“The way journalists have been working with courage since the coronavirus outbreak is very praiseworthy,” he said while inaugurating a three-day exhibition at the Broadcast Journalists Centre in Dhaka.

“I didn’t see any journalist sitting at home in fear. Some of my close journalist friends also died [of Covid-19],” the minister said.

He noted that 37 journalists died of coronavirus and several hundred others were infected during work.

Mahmud praised the mainstream media and journalists for providing people with the right news during the pandemic and taking a stance against attempts to manipulate the crisis, particularly on social media.

He lauded BJC and other journalists’ organisations for standing by mediapersons during the pandemic. Mahmud noted that the government had extended financial assistance at the order of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through the Journalist Welfare Trust to scribes who had been laid off.

Mahmud said the laying off of journalists by some media houses during this crisis was “very unfortunate”.

“We’ve provided one-time financial aid to journalists who had been laid off and those who were not paid in months. The assistance is still on,” the minister said, requesting BJC to provide the government with a list of journalists in need if they have any.

He said the government would enact the Media Workers Law soon to safeguard the jobs and resolve the problems of journalists.

At the programme, Renowned artists Shahabuddin Ahmed and Gulshan Hossain, joined the programme online. It was presided over by BJC Trustee President Syed Ishtiaq Reza.

The exhibition features some paintings and photographs showing the struggles and woes of journalists during the pandemic. Renowned artists Shahabuddin , Md Moniruzzaman, Gulshan Hossain, Tahmina Hafiz Lisa and Nasir Ali Mamun took part in the exhibition, along with several photographers.

‘Coronay Gonomaddhomer Lorai’ will remain open from 10am to 5pm until Nov 25.

Source: United News of Bangladesh