Move underway to give BTV autonomy
Thursday, 03 July 2008

Bdnews24.com

The government has taken an initiative to amend the Bangladesh Television Authority Act, 2001 in a move to give the organisation autonomy.

A meeting was held at Rampura Television Bhaban Saturday, aimed at making recommendations for autonomy.

At the meeting, joined by media officials and cultural leaders, most of the speakers said political governments did not have the intention to give BTV autonomy.

BTV director general Kamaluddin Ahmed said: "The government is sincere about giving BTV autonomy and bring it up-to-date."

Cultural leader Ramendu Majumder said, "No political government would give autonomy to the organisation."

He proposed preparation of a new law for this purpose.

Former BTV official Faruque Alamgir said, "Normally, the popularity of BTV increases during the tenure of any caretaker government."

Alamgir backed reshaping Bangladesh Television in line with the BBC. He said some rare Bangla programmes telecast during the Pakistan period might be available in the Pakistan Television (PTV) archives.

Drama personality Nasiruddin Yusuf proposed considering experience in cultural activities, educational qualifications and merit for BTV appointment.

He advised running Bangladesh Television following Japan's NHK and BBC models.

Former TV official Atiqul Haq Chowdhury was in favour of overhauling BTV following the model of BBC.

He said, "With every change of government, political polarisation takes place. So, there should be a clear-cut policy. Appointment in BTV has remained stopped for long and there is a lack of manpower."

Atiqul Haq also commented that development of BTV was being hampered due to bureaucratic tangles.

"The chairman of the BTV has to be a highly cultural and meritorious person. BTV should have full independence. Definition and scope of autonomy has to be fixed," he said.

According to him, the main aim of autonomy should be to increase the quality of BTV programmes.

Former BTV official Sarker Feroz dwelt on technical problems of BTV and proposed building the organisation as an interactive media platform.

Newscaster Shamim Ahmed raised questions as to whether the proposed Bangladesh Television Act would be able to give autonomy to BTV.

Former BTV official M Hamid questioned political government sincerity about giving autonomy to BTV and said, "Emphasis should be given on the independence in producing programmes and empowerment."

Kamaluddin Ahmed said a sub-committee would soon be formed on the autonomy issue.

"BTV is an institution of the people. It will be run as per people's law."

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