Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday called upon journalists to work in unison with the government to raise awareness among the people to fight the coronavirus.
He came up with call at a views-exchange with leaders of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) at the ministry conference room at the secretariat.
Managing Director and Chief Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Abul Kalam Azad, DUJ President Quddus Afrad and General Secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Topu attended the meeting, among others.
DUJ leaders placed some demands to the minister at the event, and protested the firing of 27 journalists from SA TV and seven from Agami News.
In response, Hasan said firing of newsmen is unexpected and regretful during this crisis period. He urged media owners not to lay off journalists in this period.
The minister said people in cities have already become conscious regarding the virus outbreak, but there is lack of awareness among people in rural areas. Media can play a big role to alert people, he said.
About gratuity and income tax issues in the 9th wage board award for journalists, the minister said the wage board award has been formulated through a process and now it was not possible for him to do anything solely in this regard.