Speakers: Journalists should bury differences and unite to protect their rights

Speakers at a webinar on Saturday encouraged the journalists' associations to come forward as a group to protect their rights despite their ideological differences.

The webinar titled, “Freedom of Media and Public Interest” was organized by the Centre for Governance Studies.

The two-hour long online discussion was moderated by the Executive Director of Centre for Governance Studies Zillur Rahman.

The discussants of the webinar were Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Shaymal Datta, Editor of Bhorer Kagoj, Shoeb Chowdhury, President of The Asian Age, Zahirul Alam, Head of News at NTV and Julhas Alam, Bureau Chief, AP.

The discussion covered the current state of media freedom in Bangladesh in terms of protecting and promoting the rights of the common people.

The contemporary issue regarding journalist Rozina Islam was also touched upon by the speakers, said a media release.

Julhas Alam raised concern about the editorial policy of the newspapers where he said a fine line should be established between ethics and standard to enhance the quality of such policy.

He also pointed out the presence of multiple competing press clubs in a single district which is creating division among journalists.

On that note, Zahirul Alam noted that a dark alliance has emerged in this sector that is directly affecting the quality of investigative journalism, and the mushroom-like growth of media houses is in fact detrimental to freedom of media as it reduces check and balance evaluation.

Shoeb Chowdhury emphasized on media law and broadcast law, which are in his opinion not up to international standard.

He suggested increased coordination and consensus among journalists to tackle contemporary challenges.

Shaymal Datta recommended some initiatives to build training institutions in the country.

He said social media is neither social nor media, so it is very harmful that people are depending on this platform as a source of information.

He also elaborated on the diminishing role of the media industry in contributing to societal development post the liberation war era.

Syeda Rizwana Hasan in prioritized the accountability of public servants who are being paid through people’s taxes.

She also demanded an answer to why the phone calls of common people are being tapped and leaked.

Source: United News of Bangladesh