November 26, 2005


Simon Denyer writes in
"Outside Iraq, Bangladesh is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, especially outside the relative safety of the capital, Dhaka, according to global press watchdogs. At least nine reporters have been killed since 2000, hundreds more beaten or intimidated into silence.

The threats come from Maoist rebels, Islamic militants, organized crime and even the political establishment. What's worse, journalists say, they have almost no recourse to the law.

Bangladesh's government says the problem is grossly exaggerated and many of the journalists who are killed themselves have links with criminal groups, or are victims of local feuds."
RSF recently said that politicians from both sides accuse the media of trying to destabilize the country through their reporting. Over the past few years, the government has been particularly critical of both domestic and foreign reporting about signs of Islamic extremists operating in the country. In reality journalists like Tipu Sultan and Hasan Imam were threatend and attacked physically for writing against lawmakers of both the recent regimes, Awami League and now the ruling BNP-Jamaat qualition. So journalism in Bangladesh is not easy job except those are corrupt.

Now Drishtipat reports that the government is thinking of taking more strict measures against journalists:
"The president, the prime minister, and the information minister have expressed their willingness to amend the provision of the Press Council Act related to the power to warn, admonish and censure the press," - president of the council ustice Abu Sayeed Ahammed.
The New age comments:
"These amendments are expected to encourage all and sundry to take legal action against newsmen and newspapers on the spurious ground of yellow journalism because no one is sure who will determine what is yellow and what is not and how they will go about doing it."
Amidst all everybody is forgetting free and fair responsible journalism is required for a functional democracy. Stopping the voices of journalists can only benefit certain quarters but not the nation. Yellow journalism can be fought by responsible journalism if there is no restriction. The Observer wrote:
"The press has played a significant role in unearthing the activities of Islamic militants at a time when the government was saying that they do not exist. Now that the problem can no longer be ignored they are once again blaming the media this time on the plea that legislative privilege has been undermined. There is no greater interest than the national interest and the government should try to serve it rather than coterie interests."
But is anybody listening?


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