Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged the journalists to refrain from character assassinations of people and institutions.
Personal attack, character assassination in the name of criticism cannot be called journalism, Hasina said at the opening session of the conference of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists faction at the National Press Club.
She said that journalists should keep in mind that there was no way of taking back the news that assassinated someone’s character.
‘No corrigendum is enough to erase negative impression among people created by the character assassination. So, you should ensure that no character assassination takes place,’ she urged journalists.
Hasina also urged journalists to publish the government activities in the welfare of the people in the interest of the country, not for her personal or her party’s gains.
‘We do not want favour from anyone. But at least we can demand that if we do any good work for the country, it should be published in a good manner,’ she said.
She sought media’s assistance in continuation of the ‘healthy democratic rule’ in the country. She thanked media for assistance in facing ‘anti-democratic activities of BNP and Jamaat’, holding war crimes trial, facing extremism and other anti-people activities.
The prime minister said that media in the country was currently enjoying absolute freedom. Participants of talk shows are criticising the government, it proves the absolute freedom of media.
About Dearness Allowance for journalists, she said, ‘I have already asked the minister concerned to take necessary steps for the issuance of a gazette notification announcing the Dearness Allowance [awarded by the Ninth Wage Board].’
Terming her government journalist-friendly, Hasina said that they had taken various steps for the welfare of the journalists.
‘You understand the cause of delay in the implementation of the wage board award. The owners’ representatives to the board make obstacles,’ she said.
‘You [journalists] find out those who cause delay in the implementation of wage board award,’ she said.
Without naming any newspaper, Hasina said that she did not read two newspapers.
‘We want early implementation of the 9th wage board,’ the prime minster said.
She also criticised the media saying that most of the media did not reflect the development works of the government.
Information minster Hasanul Haq Inu claimed that the proposed digital security law would not be harmful for journalists.
He called on the journalists to work in favour of the formation of non-communal democratic Bangladesh.
Information adviser to the prime minster Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that Mahathir Mohammad became prime minister of Malaysia again at the age of 92, so Hasina could remain in power as prime minister for another 20 years.
Hasina from her seat in the podium apologised folding her hands.
Chaired by federation faction president Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, the programme was also addressed, among others, by sate minister for information Tarana Halim, federation secretary general Omar Faroque, Dhaka Union of Journalists president Abu Jafar Surja and nine other unions of journalists.
The opening session was followed by a council session.
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