Mass media urged to play due role
Friday, 18 April 2008

Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman Wednesday urged the mass media to play a more responsible role reflecting hopes and aspirations of the people, reports agency.

He made the call while addressing as the chief guest a seminar organised by Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) in its seminar room in the city.

PIB Director General Mohammad Nazrul Islam presided over the seminar entitled ‘Role of Mass Media in Flourishing Democracy in Bangladesh’ while professor of journalism of Dhaka University Dr Sakhawat Ali Khan conducted the function.

Daily Ittefaq Editor Rahat Khan, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Chief Editor Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury, former MP Asaduzzaman Noor, daily Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamol Dutta, Advocate Salma Ali, National Press Club Senior Vice-President Farid Hossain, PIB Associate Editor M Jahangir Firoz, among others, addressed the seminar. Professor of Law of Dhaka University Dr Asif Nazrul presented the keynote paper.

The education adviser said the demand for responsibility of the mass media would grow with the increase in its speed and strength. Therefore, attention is required to ensure objectivity and responsibility to fulfill the expectations of people, he added.

The mass media plays an important role with courage in the flourish of democracy, he said and called for stronger role of the media in the country. Ittefaq Editor Rahat Khan said the mass media, despite limitations, has been playing a vital role in flourishing democracy though other institutions in the country failed to discharge their responsibilities in many areas.

BSS Chief Editor Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury said there is no alternative to objectivity and neutrality to make the mass media strong and meaningful. He stressed enhancing professional excellence of the media personnel. Prof Dr Sakhawat Ali Khan said in most of the cases there are political motives behind publication of newspapers.

But recently, commercial attitude is being noticed here, he added. He put emphasis on formulation of a guideline for journalists and ensuring its implementation. In his keynote paper, Prof Asif Nazrul said the government would have to implement some steps to ensure responsible role of the press.

These include enacting right to information law, and identification and scrapping of laws which can be used to harass journalists. He recommended that professional facilities for journalists be enhanced, standard of journalism training institute be improved, legal measures to stop investment of black money in newspaper industry, making Press Council neutral, stronger and effective.

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