Speakers at a discussion yesterday suggested formation of an independent national commission to protect journalists from political influence and pressures of various vested quarters.
The civil society organisations are the trusted shelters for journalists as they can protest against the incidents of oppression, the speakers also said.
The speakers also emphasised the need for developing professional skills of journalists and encouraging practices of ethical journalism.
They were speaking at an interactive discussion between journalists and civil society organisations, jointly organised by Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) and Internews at Chez Razzak Suites in the city.
The keynote paper titled “Strengthening independent media in Bangladesh” was presented by Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and chief executive of privately-run Ekushey Television.
With MRDI Executive Director Hasibur Rahman in the chair, the discussion was moderated by Syed Ishtiaque Reza, editor-in-chief of GTV.
Journalists face various challenges including disagreement among leaders, lack of rule of law, dearth of job security, low pay and lack of ethical practices, the speakers observed.
“Despite all limitations, people still trust them. They should be protected,” said Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul.
“Since there is no rule of law currently in the country, sometimes newsmen also resort to self-censorship,” said Rezaul Karim, Natore district correspondent of privately-run Channel-i.
Associate Prof Abdullah Al Mamun, chairman of Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Rajshahi University, said, many fear journalists for their malpractices and urged newsmen to be more professional and practice ethical journalism.