Launching Ceremony of the Report on Media in Development: Linkages between Socio-Economic Development and Diversified Media in Bangladesh

Date:

Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 22 March, 2007- ,

Description :

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organized a launching ceremony and seminar to present the final report on Media in Development: Linkages between Socio-Economic Development and Diversified Media in Bangladesh on Thursday March 22, 2007 at BEI.

Barrister Moinul Hossain, Honourable Adviser, Ministry of Information, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, launched the report as the Chief Guest of the event. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President, BEI chaired the launching ceremony and seminar.

The report has been prepared by Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President of BEI and Mr. Shahab Enam Khan, Lecturer, Jahangirnagar University, in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

The report finds that the key constraint to the growth of such a media landscape in Bangladesh is the regulatory and policy environment for broadcast media. The key recommendations for policy and regulatory reform are:

 

  •       Establish a permanent and independent National Broadcast Commission to regulate broadcast media
  •       Enact legislation to create and enable public service broadcasting, private commercial broadcasting, and community broadcasting systems,
  •       License terrestrial broadcast frequencies for private use, and
  •       Give autonomy to Bangladesh TV and Bangladesh Betar.

 

While addressing the inaugural ceremony, the chief guest, Barrister Moinul Hossain, commended BEI’s initiative to address the constraints to liberalization of broadcast media, and said that the issue of liberalization deserves due importance. Although Bangladesh is currently under a “state of emergency”, the caretaker government (CG) is most anxious to uphold the process of freedom of press and broadcast media liberalization. The adviser also said that the CG has taken initiatives to liberalize Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar to make it more informative and entertaining for all its viewers.

Mr. Saiful Bari, Chief Adviser, ATN Bangla emphasized the freedom must be supported by responsibility and media is no exception.

Barrister Manzoor Hasan, Director, Centre for Governance Studies said that although we are in the information age, information is not accessible by all. He also said that it is important to prioritize people’s interests and expectations, including those in hard to reach places.

Muhammad Jahangir, Executive Director, Centre for Development Communication said that media should not be in grip of any government and measures should be taken to make the press council more effective to ensure accountability of press.

Dr. Khalid Hasan, Executive Director, A C Nielsen Bangladesh, expressed that Bangladeshi viewers are drawn to Indian TV programmes because of the lack of quality in our TV programmes.

Mr. Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury said that freedom and liberalization of information, and transparency and governance are inextricably related.

Mr. Amanullah Khan, Chairman of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) Ltd. highlighted the need for a self-regulatory body to ensure independence of media. He also stressed that the ineffective Press Council should be replaced by Press Complaint Council.

Mr. Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Editor, The Bangladesh Observer, said that the media has not made significant progress because of the influence of black money. On the recommendation of a National Broadcasting Commission, he said that it should be renamed to include all media. He commented that the freedom of media should be asserted.

Mr. Shujauddin Ahmed, former Director General, NIMCO, said that Indian viewers enjoy the opportunity of a diversified media, which has resulted in the growth of numerous media channels to choose from. Such diversity is absent in Bangladesh and this issue should be addressed immediately.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Farooq Sobhan said that the driving conviction behind this initiative, undertaken by BEI, is the uncontroversial evidence for a diversified and liberalized media, which was evident in the research, which BEI carried out in the region. He also said that liberalizing media will have a multiplier effect. Competition in the media is essential because it offers and encourages better options and better opportunity.

Participants at the seminar included distinguished representatives from the government, media, academia, and private sector.

For further information, please contact Ms. Sherina Tabassum, Communications Manager, BEI.

 

Posted Date : 4 March, 2012

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