Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday made a pointed attack on The Daily Star, singling out the paper saying that the newspaper always distorts whatever she says.
“It is The Daily Star! No matter what I say, it will be distorted, and that is the character [of the newspaper],” is what she exactly said at a crowded press conference at her official residence Gono Bhaban.
We at The Daily Star take her comments very seriously because it comes from no other than a person holding the highest seat of the government.
We want to state emphatically that to the best of our ability The Daily Star practises the highest level of ethical journalism where distortion of facts and statements has no place. And if and whenever any unintentional distortion happens, we quickly correct ourselves without any prejudice, publishing it as close to the original placement of the contested item.
This newspaper has covered the prime minister on numerous occasions. Never barring once have we received any contestation or clarification from the prime minister’s office. The only time we had received a clarification was on her comment about Professor Muhammad Yunus. Then again this clarification did not explicitly say we distorted the prime minister’s remarks, rather it said the newspaper report did not mention any source and was based on inadequate information.
Since the prime minister on Sunday brought a serious allegation against this newspaper in an event telecast nationwide we would invite her office to provide us with instances when we distorted her comments. This exercise would help us both in our endeavour for better journalism.
But unless the PMO can point out our slips, our readers may be forced to conclude that the prime minister’s comments were yet another example of media bashing and maligning a free and independent media that has always upheld the norms of democracy.
The PM’s office owes this explanation to our readers as well as the wider public in general.