Newsmen concerned at media control | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 07, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 07, 2008

Newsmen concerned at media control

Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad, an organisation of journalists and media employees, yesterday expressed grave concern over the 'chaotic and fearful state' stemming from the emergency rules in the country's media sector.
Media controls in recent times have broken all previous records, forcing journalists to perform their duties amid risks to uphold their professional dignity, the parishad leaders said in a press release following a meeting at the National Press Club.
Stating that although freedom of expression as guaranteed in our constitution is infringed by several other provisions, it said the imposition of the state of emergency has denied that very right.
The situation is so grave that journalists are now up against numerous obstacles when it comes to covering news on special courts which are trying high-profile corruption suspects.
"The unofficial directives from an influential quarter are so evident in the electronic media that it has been very difficult for them to broadcast news independently and invite guests of their choice to various programmes."
Although policymakers often describe the media as the parliament, they try to control this parliament in various ways, it said.
The parishad leaders said a young reporter of a Bangla daily is now living under life threats after losing his job as he reported the corruption of an influential person.
Situations outside the capital are more serious as reporters there cannot dispatch news stories without the permission of law enforcers. They also cannot write anything in local newspapers without clearance, it said, adding that journalists are arrested when they defy the directives.
The parishad leaders called for immediate lifting of the state of emergency, ensuring a freedom-of-expression friendly environment, stopping arresting journalists without specific charges and releasing all the newsmen arrested so far.
They also called for an end to invisible directives on the media, pressure on the media management and harassment of journalists.
They warned of tougher programmes if the situation is not improved anytime soon.
Presided over by co-convenor Mozammel Haq, the meeting was attended by, among others, Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Ruhul Amin Gazi, Motiur Rahman Talukder and Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan.

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