Kaler Kantho resorted to yellow journalism | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 21, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 21, 2011

Kaler Kantho resorted to yellow journalism

Press Council declares its news items linking Prothom Alo editor with Aug 21 grenade attack false, fabricated, motivated

Bangladesh Press Council has declared false and fabricated the daily Kaler Kantho reports about Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman being involved in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack.
It issued a warning against Kaler Kantho.
After hearing lengthy deliberations of lawyers on both sides, the council said daily Kaler Kantho resorted to “yellow journalism by deliberate lying, fabrication and vilification”.
The council said it is of the opinion that Motiur Rahman has been falsely linked to the grenade attack to malign him publicly.
The council after in-depth review of the appeal of the daily Prothom Alo, reply of the daily Kaler Kantho and reply of the daily Prothom Alo found no evidence that support the information daily Kaler Kantho dished out about Matiur Rahman, the verdict delivered on April 12 said.
“The council thinks that the information provided by daily Kaler Kantho about Matiur Rahman does not have any basis,” it read.
Kaler Kantho published a report on May 10 last year stating that “the editor of Prothom Alo and journalist Tipu Sultan of the same daily had warned militant leader Maolana Tajuddin, the main architect of the brutal August 21 grenade attack, that Rab was looking for him. It also alleged that Matiur Rahman had discussed with Tajuddin the forming of a new political party by the latter to help BNP.
The reports also claimed that Tajuddin had met Matiur Rahman several times at the Prothom Alo office which journalist Tipu Sultan had arranged.
The reports were claimed to have been based on statements of jailed former BNP deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu given to intelligence agencies.
“The council considers this attitude of daily Kaler Kantho to be against the principles of newspapers and the debatable was news not at all based on information but falsehood, imagination and was humiliating,” the council verdict said.
“The daily Kaler Kantho has created an instance of bad journalism centring the Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman,” the verdict said. “The council is hereby issuing a warning against daily Kaler Kantho to refrain from publishing any subject under prosecution or publish any material not supported by proper evidence.”
Matiur Rahman had complained to the press council on October 24 last year that the Kaler Kantho reports were totally false and they had denigrated his status and family reputation.
In defence, Kaler Kantho on December 28 last year said the investigation officer or intelligence agencies had not disputed the reports and so it can be assumed that the statement of Pintu or the related report was correct.
It said, “As former state minister Pintu, who was arrested in the August 21 grenade attack case, is a conscious person and so are his family members, they would have protested if the reports were false.”
But the council was not convinced with the reply. As the plaintiff insisted on submission of case-related documents, the council gave seven more days to Kaler Kantho. Kaler Kantho submitted a printed document of the so-called statement of Abdus Salam Pintu. But since the document did not bear the seal of any court, the council did not take it into cognisance and said anyone can use this kind of computer-generated statement to mislead the council.
“The owners/publishers of newspapers and other mass media sometimes publish/broadcast news to serve their own interest which goes against the ethics of journalism and they resort to negative competition against rivals. This practice should be considered as yellow journalism and responsible individuals should be brought to book and declared guilty,” the council observed.

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