Business journalism must realign its focus
Bangladesh needs to focus more on micro-level business reporting to help economic journalism flourish in the country, a senior editor said yesterday.
“We mainly do economic reporting from macro-level perspective. But it is time to focus on micro-level aspects as well,” Moazzem Hossain, editor of The Financial Express, said at a meeting in Dhaka.
“If we relate the field-level aspects to macro-level, it will usher in a new horizon in economic journalism,” Hossain added.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organised the event, “Challenges and Opportunities of Economic Journalism” at its office to listen to business reporters from different media outlets.
Issues tied to external and internal barriers, difficulties in having access to information, professional training, communication gap between reporters and business leaders and image crisis of journalists came up for discussion.
Hossain stressed the need for maintaining professional ethics, accuracy, quality and conceptual clarity in news.
“Those, who do not want to maintain professional ethics, should not take up journalism as a career. If you are in journalism, you must follow ethics,” Hossain said.
On the rising number of media outlets in Bangladesh, he said: “Good media will survive and bad media will be driven out. Readers, viewers and listeners will decide it.”
“The media is now demand-driven as people are more conscious than three decades ago. They seek quality information from the media. They ultimately judge the bad or good media based on their reporting,” said Hossain.
He said there is plenty of scope to improve the quality of business journalism, especially in the corporate area.
“The quality of corporate reporting is excellent in India as they have a very strong and vibrant corporate sector,” said Hossain. Bangladeshi media outlets should focus on it, he added.
He also advised the reporters to read more, especially foreign business reports and articles, to improve their quality and stay in touch with the changing global trends.
“We should have clarity in conceptual framework and know the context of the reporting as economic terms are rapidly evolving all over the world,” said Hossain
He emphasised corporatisation of media management to ensure independence and neutrality of media outlets.
On the reluctance of the authorities to provide information, Hossain said: “I favour opening the door of information. Concealing information is not a sign of good governance.”
On the volatility of the capital market, the editor said, “Let the market work it out.” Adding that, the market regulatory body should be manned properly and efficiently and it should work based on good judgment without being influenced by anyone else.
Responding to the reporters, Farooq Ahmed, secretary general of MCCI, said they want to build a strong bridge with the journalists and promised to regularly arrange professional training or interactive sessions for the skill development of economic reporters. “But we need your active participation and encouragement.”
He hoped that the MCCI would soon open a public relations wing and sincere efforts will be there to have a spokesperson. “Let's see things positively.”
Senior officials of the chamber were also present at the event.