Editors, journalists, academics, and activists recognised the need for a common framework of guidelines for better safety and security of journalists in the wake of increasing threats and risks.
Speakers in a dialogue titled “Regional Dialogue on Safety and Security for Journalists”, hosted by the Editors' Council yesterday, acknowledged that physical, psychological, legal and digital aspects constitute safety issues for newsmen.
The dialogue, held at the Brac Centre in the capital, was attended by journalists from local and national news outlets, journalist union leaders, academics, civil society representatives and experts.
They said the guideline for journalists' safety protocol should be a product of a joint exercise of all stakeholders, including the Editors' Council, Newspaper Owners' Association, Press Institute of Bangladesh, journalists' unions, Jatiya Press Club, the Dhaka Reporters Unity and all such bodies.
The editors stressed that the existing international best practices should form the basis of the safety protocol, which would hopefully be adopted and practised by media outlets.
They also called on the government and its agencies to do as much as possible to ensure safety and security of journalists and remove various hurdles that threaten press freedom.
Ranga Kalansooriya, regional advisor for Asia, International Media Support; Rana Ayyub, investigative journalist and writer; and Lucy Freeman, chief executive of Media Legal Defence Initiative, also spoke on the occasion.
Reazuddin Ahmed, a veteran journalist, editor, union leader and also a member of the Editors' Council, chaired and moderated the programme.
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, also the Editors' Council general secretary, welcomed the participants and highlighted the safety and security issues of journalists for discussion.