JS committee gets 60 days more to review Mass Media Employees Bill

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today got another 60 days to examine the much-debated Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2022.

Chairman of the committee Hasanul Huq Inu sought the time in the parliament and the House unanimously approved the proposal.

On March 28, Information and Broadcast Minister Hasan Mahmud placed the Bill, which was sent to the parliamentary standing committee of the respective ministry for scrutiny.

According to ministry sources, the standing committee did not sit for a single meeting till now.

Various journalists' and owners' associations along with Transparency International Bangladesh have seriously opposed various sections of the proposed law.

The Editors' Council (Sampadak Parishad) has said the space for independent media will shrink further if the proposed bill is passed by parliament.

In a statement on April 19, The Editors' Council said, "The newspaper industry is going through trying times, still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Many daily newspapers at home and abroad have either started curtailing their print editions or stopping their print circulation altogether."

Upon analysis of the proposed law, the Editors' Council observed that 37 out of its 54 provisions are not journalist-friendly.

The council said it believed that the proposed law would bring the media industry and mass media employees under further control of the bureaucracy in the name of protection.

If the proposed law is implemented, there is apprehension it can destroy the editorial institution, added the statement.