The media should play a responsible role in covering violent extremism and use multiple sources rather than only reporting what the law enforcers say, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.
“Media should exercise objectivity in their reports and also know how to use sensitive information,” said Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, former vice chancellor of Dhaka University.
The roundtable on "Role of Media for Preventing Violent Extremism and Launching of Media Resource Guide to Prevent Violent Extremism", organised by Society for Media and Suitable Human-communication Techniques with support of USAID, was held at Cirdap auditorium in Dhaka.
Prime Minister's Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said that extremist groups have grown in the country with political support. He urged political parties to clarify their stance against terrorism in their manifestos for the upcoming election.
About reporting on violent extremism, the speakers said a journalist should find out the truth, but it is hard for a reporter to check and verify incidents of violent extremism independently. In such cases, the reporters are helpless, and feel compelled to use one-sided story – quoting the law enforcement agencies, they said.
Dhaka University Associate Professor and media researcher Dr Shameem Reza said the resource book will guide journalists and media professionals to use globally accepted approaches, techniques and ethics when reporting on violent extremism.
Farida Yesmin, general secretary of National Press Club; Md Rafiquzzaman, director general of National Institute of Mass Communication; Randall Olson, director of the Democracy, Human Rights and Governance office of USAID Bangladesh, also spoke at the event.