President asks media to give priority to national interest

Publish: 3:19 PM, February 18, 2019 | Update: 3:19:PM, February 18, 2019

DHAKA,  – President M Abdul Hamid today asked mass media to play a responsible role by giving priority to the national interest.

“Play a responsible role by giving priority to the national interest and abiding by the journalistic ethics,” the President said while addressing a function on the occasion of 45th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Press
Council Day and Press Council award-giving ceremony at a city hotel here.

Noting that media, democracy and development are interlinked, he said each of the three key components will be dysfunctional without others, and the mass media can help institutionalize the democracy.

“Fabricated, provocative news and yellow journalism can never be the friend of democracy,” he said, adding that the Press Council can play a very significant role as the ‘watchdog’ in this regard.

The President said billionaire businessmen now own different media outlets and they are playing a very conducive role in flourishing mass media undoubtedly. “But the authorities concerned must keep in mind that the media
cannot be used to serve the narrow personal or institutional interest,” he said.

The Press Council must work to ensure publishing and airing objective and unbiased news simultaneously, upholding the spirit of Bengali culture and Liberation War, he suggested.

Referring to country’s tremendous development, President Hamid said the role of the media people is also very important in turning Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and attaining the target of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Appreciating the entry of the youth forces with university degrees and ICT knowledge into journalism, he said they should utilize their talent and expertise with honesty and impartiality for the sake of the motherland.

“They (young journalists) would be a model of a non-communal Bangladesh to be freed from militancy and terrorism,” the President hoped.

A total of seven awards were given to five personalities and two institutions for their outstanding contributions to journalism.

Late editor of Samakal Golam Sarwar (lifetime achievement award), Jasim Uddin Harun from The Financial Express (development journalism), Md Murshid Alam from Dainik Mukta Barta based in Bogura (rural journalism), Sony Ramani from Daily New Age (photography), Ayesha Siddika Akashi from Madaripur based newspaper daily Subarnogram (women journalism).

Daily Ittefaq and Dainik Azadi have been awarded in the ‘institution category’. Congratulating the Press Council award winners, the President said this award would encourage brave, honest and neutral journalism in the country.

Press Council Chairman Justice Mohammed Mumtaz Uddin Ahmed, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Information Ministry Hasanul Haq Inu, Information Secretary Abdul Malek, Press Council Member Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul, among others, spoke on the occasion.