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Judiciary vs Media March 12, 2014

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH.
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All these started with the publication of an article by Mizanur Rahman Khan,an eminent journalist in the Prothom Alo on practice of bail by the higher court in Bangladesh. The Higher court takes the matter differently and summoned the editor of Prothom Alo and the writer to the court[1][2][3] and the virdict on the case will be declared on 13th instant[1][3].

Opinion of some lawyers also creates controversy on the issue[1]. Some press condemned the opinion and in turn accused of contempt of court themselves. But they were all cleared of contempt of the court.

The media expresses concern on the freedom of press in Bangladesh.

An ordinary citizen

Follow up:


The High Court exempted Prothom Alo editor and fined the writer Mizanur Rahman Khan and told to consider his remain standing in the court as punishment for his offence.[1]

Farhad Mazhar Facing Criticism November 4, 2013

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Farhad Majhar 1Farhad Mazhar,a left leaning intellectual and now seems to be more lenient to religious conservatives in Bangladesh, came to forefront of controversy by a making a comment in a TV show on ETV.
He said that media should be bombed as it is not taking stand in support of the media that is suppressed by the Government. (more…)

Justice Habibur Rahman on media June 18, 2012

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Justice Habibur Rahman made some hard observations on the media in his speech on Freedom of Speech’ organised by the Journalism Training and Research Initiative on 5th May at Dhaka.
One of the observations of him is that the newspaper industry is now a big investment sector. Money and trade is a common game there.
‘Journalists and authorities are trying to please each other’.
‘Newspaper become a subservient one’.
‘Freedom of newspaper owners is considered as freedom of the press’.
‘There is limited freedom of press in Bangladesh’.
‘Only a handful of readers can know whose interests the editors or publishers are serving under the cover of this respect.’
‘From loan defaulters and land grabbers to military and non-military intelligence are financing the publication of newspapers’.
‘Investing in newspapers has become lucrative to the rich who often do not hesitate to publish something in print for immediate gains or creating panic and defeating rivals.’
‘Due to lack of security, the door for free journalism is getting closed. In such a situation, journalists will have to look after their own interests’
‘At least for the sake of getting justice, the two unions of journalists will have to be united, and I want to live with this hope.’
‘288 journalists became victims in 154 incidents. Of them, 101 suffered repression for publishing reports while 110 were assaulted while covering news events and 47 came under attack by law enforcers.’
‘Journalists were now divided into two factions and that social and political rogues were deriving clear advantage from such a divide’.

[The source is Daily Star]

An ordinary citizen

Media and non-political entity of local elections October 18, 2011

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Nayanagang city corporation election is set. Election Commission has confirmed the candidature of 6 candidates after screening. Two of them are part mayors and one is female with strong political background.

City Corporation elections are local elections. Constitutionally these are non political elections. Party will not nominate any candidate and no party should express their support for any candidate.

Political leaders sometime try to break the rule and this so happen in case of Narayangang election. While the expectation from the political leaders are poor, we have high hope on the media. But we feel frustrated when leading media fails to honour the rule.

Badrud Doza

Media Vs Government September 28, 2010

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An interesting debate is going on between Media and Government.

The debate becomes more focused when the present Parliamentary session blasted Prothom Alo,a leading vernacular, its editor and reporters and few other newspapers for publishing reports criticizing the MPs for their passing bills to enjoy tax free cars and to remove taxes from their incomes.

The journalists and intelligentsia expressed their reactions in different forums over the threat and criticism of media in the parliament.

Before the debate is hardly die down, the Pabna Incident of assaulting the officers in Administration by the party cadres raised a fresh issue. Media depicted the helplessness of the Administration in its follow up reports. 21 accused in the incident were sent to jail after surrendering to the court. Adviser to the PM Mr. T H Imam visited Pabna with State Minister for Home to review the matter and discussed with the Administration and the party leaders. He emphasized that Government is taking necessary steps to settle the issue. After his visit, DC and SP of Pabna and UNO of Sadar Upzazilla are withdrawn. Mr. Imam also said the media exaggerated the issue.

A new event developed at Savar, as media reports, where some government officials made GD in the police station and are abstained from their duty for safely. They made complaints against the Upazilla Chairman for excruciating money from them. Government will not also take the matter lightly.

An uneasy situation is developing in the relation of media and the Government in Bangladesh.

Our dream is shattering as Sultana Kamal, a Human Right Activist and ex- Adviser to Caretaker Government expressed in an article very recently.

An ordinary citizen

Role of TV in restructuring language & culture February 22, 2009

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I was listening intently to a TV talk show on the night of 21 February of two leading personalities of our literature and cultural arena – Mostafa Monwar and Abdullah Abu Sayeed. Faridur Reza Sagar was conducting the program in ‘Tritiya Matra’
The theme of the discussion was also interesting- the role of TV in the restructuring the language and culture of our society.

They opined that it is not possible for TVs to play effective role in the restructuring the language and culture. TV as a medium is always a restless one and try to dramatize events for its own purpose.

For its dramatic inclination, more classical programs are gradually loosing its space in the TV schedules. We see very few classical soiree now a days. Even in drama, the dramas of more depth and meaning are not produced and telecasted today, channels are more opted for short entertaining episodes.

TV is also for commerce and commercialization. TV is full of ads and programs become secondary to the ads.

There is far and few educational programs. Most of the time they are not entertaining. To make the educational program entertaining you need vast budget as that of “Sesame Street’ in BTV which is sponsored by the international organizations.

It is not true that TV can’t play any role in contributing to the culture and language of a society, it can if the organizers and the producers of house think over the matter seriously and set their programs accordingly and sometimes produce program for the minority viewers.

An ordinary citizen

Media vs Parliament in Bangladesh February 14, 2009

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Parliament is in session, the first session of the new government. People observed with enthusiasm the inuguaration of the new parliament. They appreciated the gesture of the members of the new parliament on the first day. But as the time passes, the parliament is loosing its lustre.

BNP is not attending the parliament on the plea of seat distribution. Speaker so far couldn’t solve the problem. The Government party is still adament on their argument on distribution of seats.

The ordinary citizen tried to concentrate on the parliamentary session but he is loosing his concentration as the attendence in the parliament is becoming thinner in the treasury bench also and there is virtually no sign of debate or difference of opinion on any issue.

People divert their atttention more to the media- to the news and talk shows of different channels. Here they can see and encounter both the government and the oppostion. The are informed of different developments and their explanation. They can even ask questions directly to the lawmakers in the talk shows.

It is said that media played the role of parliament during the emergency period of the Caretaker Government. Is it continuing it’s role of alternative parliament during this newly elected government?

Media is to convey the news of the parliament as expected. Now, media is producing news of itself of matters which should have been discussed in the parliament.

The government should think the matter seriously and in no way should deem the importance of parliament to the media and to the people.

People had great expectation on this parliament and the opportunity shouldn’t be missed showing unnecessary rigidity on silly matters.

An ordinary citizen

Voice of citizens’ group rising in Bangladesh October 26, 2008

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Bangladesh is a country where the people are crazy like anything for politics. A major part of their days are passed in reading, listening, discussing and gossiping on politics and political news.

Most of the people either follow one of the big political parties. Many of them ‘religiously’ follow the dictations and deliberations of their leaders. This rigid following not only present among the common people but also also in the bureaucrats, professionals and businessmen. Even among the so called intelligentsia and journalists, the identity of an individual is most of the time labeled along a party line. In a very few instances you can say that someone is not affiliated physically or mentally with a particular party. Probably there are reasons for this partisanship.

But there are independent citizens group whose voice is rising with time. The literates and common people as well are giving heed to their opinion. One of the such citizen groups is Shujon ( Citizens for Good Governance). Professor Mujaffar Ahmed,an economist and a former professor of Institution of Business Administration(IBA),a prestigious academy of Bangladesh is leading the group. He is ably supported by Dr. Badiul Alam Majumder as General Secretary of the organisation. There are many other organisations among the citizens beside the group. Their presence and messages are evident through talk shows, interviews in the electronic and print media, articles and websites. One of such website is hosted by Shujon is worth visiting http://www.votebd.org/

In the last few years, there is boom of the electronic TV channels in Bangladesh. Now there are a dozen of TV channels working in the country. Many were skeptics about their survival at the beginning. But now these electronic channels are working as a bridge between the independent thinkers and the people. Though the politicians are also taking the advantage of the media, people get the opportunity to listen to the alternative voices, analysis of the events, review of the socioeconomic problems and fear & prospect of the country. People now could compare the rhetorics of the politicians and analysis of a university professor/professoinal/expert on the subject.

One of these independent group is TIB- Transparency International Bangladesh. They are working to expose the state of corruption in different sectors in Bangladesh. With time, their findings are more reckoned with by the people and the government. The interviews and articles of the General Secretary of the the organization Dr. Eftekharuzzaman are thought provoking.

The leading newspapers are also organizing round table conferences on different issues related to politics, social issues and economic problems where the voices of the independents are gradually rising.

With the rise of the voices of the independent citizens group, people will able to see the situation of the country more analytically and will be able to take more realistic decision for themselves and for the country in the future.

An ordinary citizen

Post script:

Politicans must learn or face return of 1/11, says Dilara Chowdhury, Poltical Scientist and Professor of Jahangir Nagar University[DS]

Let media engage political leaders in fruitful dialogue or debates on policy matters September 30, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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Our political leaders most of the time remain engaged in thoughtless bickering against each other. Media could take strong role to change the culture and engage the political leaders in fruitful dialogue or debates on policy matters, on their own records and acheivments during their tenure of governance.

Topics may range from democratic elememts in the party constituion to role of the parties in recent floods. Debates could be arranged on or against the upazilla election ans so on. Different parties could be invited in the same table to understand their logic.

Media can also take initiative to arrange dialogue off the studio and in the community. BBC Bangla section is the pioneer in this regard. Our native channels should also involve themselves in this exercise.

Because of the lack of platform and lack of tradition political discussions become mere rhetorics and repitation of old words.

I enjoyed the first presidential debate between Obama and McCain on 27th September 2008 live. They are not only excellent in style, but rich in content. Debates are arranged throughout their primaries among different candidates.

Media may also come out of with factsheets after each
major debate or dialogue that is practice in developed countries.
For this media will also have to be independent,unbiased and true to the fact.

An ordinary citizen

Media not necessarily reflect the opinion of the people May 28, 2008

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We have a common impression that media reflects the opinion of the people. It is not necessarily so.
Media represents a group of people who hold the privilege to express the opinion on any subject in the name of people. The people neither nominate them nor they seek permission from the people. (more…)

Developing alternatives to conventional media May 9, 2008

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I was listening to a talk show few days back where the chairman of Public Service Commission, was telling that the survey they have conducted on quota system for Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) has been given to the journalists and it was hoped that the journalists would summarize and discuss it in the papers and TV channels. (more…)

Torture on Tarique Zia: manipulation of a London-based TV channel? January 18, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media, POLITICS.
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The daily Star reports: A London based TV channel doctors a year-old picture of a prisoner to claim torture on Tarique Rahman

Link: the report

An ordinary citizen

The cartoon, Daily Prothom Alo and consequences September 21, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Media.
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A cartoon was published in the ‘Alpin’, a satiric magazine of The Daily Prothom Alo on the 17th September 2007 where the cartoonist used the word ‘Mohammad’ in the dialogue which has created much reaction in the religious community.

Different religious group protested the publication in the daily.

In response , Government confiscated the edition of the magazine, arrested the cartoonist and suspended the publication of the magazine.

The Editor of the Daily also seek apology for the mistake, suspended the departmental editor and cancelled the contract with the cartoonist.