Bringing discipline in mass media also a journalists' demand: Hasan
DHAKA, Sept 16, 2021 (BSS) - Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said it is the demand of journalists to bring discipline in the mass media by removing different irregularities.
"I'm trying to see the issues of journalists like one of them and trying to remove the irregularities through discussion with them (journalists). Discipline has restored in many cases and the process is going on," he told the annual general meeting (AGM) of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) at Jatiya Press Club (JPC) here.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) President Molla Jalal and JPC President Farida Yeasmin spoke the meeting as special guests with DUJ President Quddus Affrad in the chair.
DUJ General Secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu presented the annual report in the meeting while BFUJ former president Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul conducted it.
Dr Hasan Mahmud said that the cable operators are maintaining the serial of the Bangladeshi TV channels as per their on air date. After putting Bangladeshi channels, the cable operators are keeping the foreign channels on the list, he added.
"We have already taken initiatives for the betterment of mass media. These initiatives put media in order mostly. Besides, we are going to implement the country's existing law as the foreign TV channels could not air any ad without permission. I also informed this to the Indian information and broadcasting minister," he said.
The minister said that his ministry is also trying to bring discipline in IP (Internet Protocol) TV sector and the works of giving registration will begin soon.
He said that about 400 newspapers are not published regularly. Many of those (newspapers) were not submitted to the Department of Films and Publications (DFP) during the last two years, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said that many newspapers were published when they got ads. The concerned authorities have published only a few copies after getting ads, he added.
For this, he said, the newspapers which publish regularly are deprived of getting ads and the journalists of those newspapers are deprived of salary. "The journalists have demanded to bring discipline there and the demand gave me courage. I will bring discipline in this sector," said Hasan.
The minister said that the declaration of about 120 newspapers have already been cancelled as those newspapers do not come out.
He said that there is no country in the sub-continent except Bangladesh that assists journalists during the COVID-19 situation. "I've tried my best to get allocation in 2020 to provide assistance to journalists. But, I didn't get any allocation from the Finance Ministry. That time, I gave allocation of our ministry's unused money to Journalists Welfare Trust. About 3,500 journalists got the assistance of Taka 10,000 each across the country," he added.
Later, he said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina granted Taka 10 crore to the welfare trust and the assistance is going on.
Hasan said that Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has established the trust. The family members of journalists would also get assistance after finalizing the draft policy, he added.
About the investigations into bank accounts of 11 journalists' leaders, the minister said, "I saw the news in the media. The government can seek it. But, I will look into the matter why it was done. I know all of the journalists' leaders and their financial condition also."
About Digital Security Act, he said that the act is for ensuring digital security for all. Many countries across the globe have the act, he added.
Hasan said that the mass media in Bangladesh are enjoying more freedom than many developed countries across the globe.
Khalid wished the success of the annual general meeting of DUJ.