Promote good work of corporate bodies
Media outlets should promote the good works of an organisation as the trend will benefit the society and encourage responsible business practices among corporate houses, said analysts yesterday.
They said corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a great link with the welfare of a society. The media outlets will have to encourage the corporate bodies so that they get motivated to work more on CSR issues.
Speaking as a panelist at a discussion on CSR and media at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, Syed Fahim Munaim, CEO and chief editor of Maasranga Television, said: “We should recognise CSR as another form of advertisement for the company.”
He said there has been a tremendous growth in the media outlets in the country. He said the media outlets should undertake proper CSR work from their own companies.
“Unfortunately or fortunately most media outlets in the country are owned by corporates or a group of companies,” said Munaim.
He said media outlets should arrange adequate training for its staffs regularly to make them expert in their own areas.
“We should promote the good CSR practices of our business houses as it will encourage others to practise the same,” said Sanaullah Lavlu, head of news and programme of ABC Radio.
Garment makers have almost stopped employing children at their factories, said Lavlu.
“It is an example of a good CSR practice as it helps the country shake off a negative image created by the global media on this issue.”
Many corporate houses are establishing their own hospitals and daycare centres and introducing other welfare activities.
“We should promote these stories. If we do not promote the good works, others will not be motivated,” said Lavlu.
CSR Centre with the support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the programme for the media houses.
CSR refers to a set of business practices based on ethical norms and transparency that contribute to the sustainable development of the internal and external stakeholders in the best interest of business, society and environment.
The programme head of ABC Radio said media outlets generally do not run stories on the good CSR practices because they fear it would be a flattering work for them.
“But, we have to change our mindset as it will ultimately benefit the society,” said Lavlu.
Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury, consulting editor and columnist of The Financial Express, said “CSR is not very familiar in the country. There is still misconception on CSR and charity.”
The media people should run stories on the importance of good CSR practices as it will make the corporates 'reasonably conscious' of it, he said.
Abed Khan, editor of an upcoming daily newspaper Jaagoron, said media outlets are mainly set up by corporate houses, but those do not become corporate bodies like in other countries.
He said, "When a corporate house launches a media outlet, the company generally imposes its agenda on it.”
In that case, he said, journalists will not be able to do justice to their profession.
He stressed the need for a link between the people, media and corporate bodies to promote the CSR.
Svend Olling, Danish ambassador to Bangladesh, said CSR has a direct impact on society. Media can play their role in this regard in three ways.
Firstly, they can tell the people how CSR activities can change their life; secondly, they can communicate its importance to the companies and finally, it becomes whistleblowers if the companies do not perform CSR activities.