Editor’s Note: Thank you
The Daily Star as a newspaper and its editor-publisher individually, are the proud recipients of the highest tax payer award in “Journalism” category for two years in a row. This is also the case with our sister publication Prothom Alo and its editor-publisher, Matiur Rahman. Our respective owning companies, The Mediaworld Ltd and the Mediastar, have also been given the highest tax payer awards. The story does not end there. Our printers, Transcraft Ltd, owned and managed by Transcom, won the highest tax payer award in that category and whose owner, Latifur Rahman and his family, has been awarded the prestigious “Tax Bahadur” award.
On this occasion we would like to thank our readers, advertisers and patrons but for whose support we could not have come to where we have. We also thank the government, the finance ministry and especially the NBR, for introducing this award that provided us with the opportunity to exhibit to our readers and to the whole nation that not only our journalism is of the highest order but also our financial practices adhere to the highest ethical standards.
As its editor and publisher I, on behalf of all my colleagues in The Daily Star, would like to pay a sincere debt of gratitude to our Board of Directors who have, since our first day of publication, insisted on stringent financial discipline and highest level of ethics in every aspect of the newspaper's management, especially in stringent effort to pay all due tax to the government. Not only of the paper's but of every staff member's income tax is paid for by the paper as mandated by the wage board.
It has been our firm belief that “trust” and “credibility”, which are the life-blood of every media house, can never be demanded but must be earned, and the only way to earn both is not only to practice ethical journalism but to be absolutely clean and transparent about our financial practices.
We seldom, if ever, speak about ourselves. Seeking readers' indulgence we intend to do so today, but only briefly. Our circulation figures have never been artificially “padded” to claim higher rates and greater share of government advertisement nor our earnings cunningly doctored to deprive our government of its due revenue. It is not uncommon that when we took tough positions on issues our income tax files were called for and examined over and over again. Yesterday's award shows that we stood the test of all such scrutiny.
We consider financial probity as a precondition for freedom of expression and ethical journalism. How can we write freely and fearlessly if we are not “clean”? Why should our readers believe us when we demand honesty and transparency from others and not practice it ourselves? We hold this to be self-evident that honesty must and does come in a package and not in parts. So to be honest, we must be honest in everything we do--journalism and our own management.
Seeking our readers and advertisers continued support with a firm promise that we will continue to be model journalistic and financial entities in the future, we again thank the government for having introduced this award for the media.