Mass Media Employees Bill to be placed in JS winter session: Dr Hasan

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said the Mass Media Employees Bill will be placed in parliament in the upcoming winter session of Jatiya Sangsad.

“You’ve a long-awaited demand for the mass media employees’ law. I want to give you good news that the Law Minister has already signed it. We hope we’ll be able to place the bill in parliament’s upcoming winter session,” he said.

The minister came up with the remarks while addressing a biennial general meeting and reunion of Chattogram Divisional Journalists’ Forum (CDSF), Dhaka at the Jatiya Press Club.

Dr Hasan said it will be possible to ensure legal protection for all the journalists who work for the broadcast media, recognised online, radio and newspapers once the bill is turned into a law.

He said some journalist leaders placed a demand to him for outlining qualifications and criteria to become a journalist. “I personally don’t think it’s appropriate to fix any degree for it. Because it’s seen in some cases that a metric-passed journalist can write better than a journalist who has master’s degree.”

The minister, however, said anyone can now introduce himself/herself as a journalist while the fake journalists are much higher than the real ones at the upazila level.

He said many fake journalists use press stickers in their vehicles and they are creating a negative perception among people about the journalist community with their unruly activities.

Dr Hasan said he has instructed the Press Council to make a standard to ensure discipline in this regard.

As per the Wage Board, he said, group insurance for journalists and media employees should be there in every media house. “But it didn’t happen. It doesn’t require much money.”

He said the organisations of journalists can focus on this issue as being able to work for journalists is the success of journalist bodies.

The minister also said it is necessary to appreciate the government for its good works alongside criticising it.

Dr Hasan mentioned that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did many things for the welfare of journalists, including allocating the land of the Jatiya Press Club (JPC).

He said the Prime Minister has promised to build a 21-storey building in the Jatiya Press Club and a plan for it has already been made. “Work on constructing the (JPC) building is in progress. The 21-storey building in the Jatiya Press Club is going to be constructed as per the promise of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”

Prime Minister’s former information adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, BFUJ former president Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul, former JPC president and daily Jugantar editor Saiful Alam, DRU former president Shahjahan Sardar, JPC treasurer Shahed Chowdhury and CBSF secretary general Shahin Ul Islam Chowdhury, among others, addressed the programme with CBSF acting president and UNB sports editor Md Mostafa Kamal in the chair.

Source: United News of Bangladesh