Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Tuesday said the mass media is currently working completely independently as there is no control exercised over the media. The Home Minister came up with the remark while addressing a function on DRU Best Reporting Award-2022 at Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Segunbagicha in the city organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Tuesday afternoon. In his speech, the Home Minister said that as the number of daily newspapers has increased, the number of electronic media has also increased. Earlier, when writing news, there were various types of censorships, but now there is no such thing, he said. "There is no control over the mass media. They are currently working completely independently," the Home Minister said. The minister said that there are roaming journalists everywhere. "When something is happening, it is coming out through them immediately," he added. "It is a challenging world, in which you are earning reputation. Today, those who excelled are being honoured. Thank you to all who have been awarded," Khan said. The Home Minister called upon the journalists to contribute more, and to write "positive news" equally. "You will work to advance the country," he added. Read more: Militancy has no place in Bangladesh: Home Minister The awards were given to 11 winners for 10 prizes in four categories based on the marks received from the jury board members. Later, the invited guests along with the minister handed over the prizes to the winners. Rajeev Noor (Samakal) won the award in the liberation war category. He received this award for his series reporting on Etihaser Chhera Pata. Abu Zar Anshar Uddin Ahmed of Samakal won the first prize in the print media category, Md Ismail Ali of the Daily Share Biz got second prize, while Jameel Khan of Daily Star and Obaidullah Roni of Samakal jointly got the third prize in this category. Read more: Warned Myanmar against firing shots towards Bangladesh, says Home Minister Abu Zar Anshar Uddin Ahmed of Samakal won the first prize in the print media category, Md Ismail Ali of the Daily Share Biz got second prize, while Jameel Khan of Daily Star and Obaidullah Roni of Samakal jointly got the third prize in this category. Among others, Somoy TV web editor Mahfuzur Rahman, publisher of Dainik Bangla Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat, DRU President Nazrul Islam Mithu and general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib were also present.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said that he feels journalists of the country “have weaknesses and lack maturity” when reporting. The minister said this after paying homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his mausoleum in Tungipara this afternoon. Talking about the media “misquoting” him recently, Momen said that the headlines used were “false and imaginary”. Read: Momen misquoted by media: MoFA “Media outlets including print, electronic and online published news with false headlines that the USA ‘a war-mongering country’, which I didn’t say. The headings had no connection with what I actually said. I think our journalists have weaknesses and I’ll be happy if they gain maturity,” Momen said. Momen added that the reports “misquoting him” put Bangladesh in an awkward position and the US may get a wrong impression about the country and this government. “Through misrepresenting the facts, our journalists have tried to create an adverse situation between the US and Bangladesh. Either these journalists didn’t know Bangla properly, or they had done this with specific reasons. They need to research why such low quality journalism prevails in the country,” Momen added. Read Momen in NY: No specific info given by US on Rab sanctions The foreign minister further said that journalism in Bangladesh doesn’t have the standards, moral and ethical values it used to have in the past. “It’s a shame for those journalists who wrote those false stories,” Momen said. Momen said he was misquoted on October 26 by some media outlets after he spoke at the seminar on "Sheikh Hasina at the United Nations", organised by the Progressive Columnist Forum of Bangladesh at Jatiya Press Club in the capital. Read Momen meets Lavrov, pitches for stronger international support for resolving Rohingya crisis Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a rejoinder, saying that misleading and baseless news quoting Foreign Minister Momen sent a wrong message to the people and the government of the US.
Introducing Bangladeshi audience to world-class movie experience in 2004, Star Cineplex, the first multiplex chain in Bangladesh, celebrated its 18th anniversary yesterday. The multiplex brand started its journey on October 8, 2004 with its maiden branch in the Dhaka’s Bashundhara City Shopping Mall. To celebrate 18th anniversary, Star Cineplex organised a gala event on Saturday night at its SKS Tower branch in Mohakhali, which was joined by an ensemble cast of celebrities and media personalities. Popular actors and directors including Chanchal Chowdhury, Azmeri Haque Badhan, Saimon Sadik, Sumon Anowar, Chayanika Chowdhury; the entire team of the upcoming film ‘Damal’ featuring Siam Ahmed, Bidya Sinha Saha Mim, Shariful Razz, Rashed Mamun Apu, director Raihan Rafi; the team of ‘Operation Sundarban’ including Roshan, director Dipankar Dipon; Star Cineplex produced and National Award-winning film ‘No Dorai’ famed actress Sunehra Binte Kamal and others joined the celebration with Star Cineplex. “We started our journey 18 years ago with a dream that has now become a reality — that audiences will return to the theatres. Our first two years were spent making people realise what we are offering: the Dolby Atmos surround system, the high definition screens and more. Eventually, the moviegoers gave us their support and we are amazed to observe the love we got from our audiences, filmmakers, artists, journalists and other associates over these years,” Star Cineplex parent company ShowMotion Limited Chairman Mahboob Rahman Ruhel said at the event. Sharing his gratitude, he told UNB that Star Cineplex is forever indebted to movie lovers, associates and the local media for a particular reason. "We struggled from the very beginning but things got out of control during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our halls were closed for such a long time, we could not pay our rent to the Bashundhara City authority and as a result, we announced the closing of that branch as we received an eviction notice. The way our beloved moviegoers and media friends helped us at the time, it was unbelievable and that eventually saved the original branch," Ruhel told UNB. At the event, he announced that the Cineplex authority is already coming up with new branches in major cities and after the commercial and critical success of ‘No Dorai’, Star Cineplex is set to produce 4 new films. “We initially had a dream that within 18 years, we would have 100 screens — but due to circumstances, we could not open more than 18 screens. That is going to be changed in the coming days, as we are opening new screens almost all over the country. We are very thankful to the government as new theatre entrepreneurs have become eligible to get low-interest loans, which will eventually help the industry grow more,” Star Cineplex chairman said. Cineplex authority congratulated the teams of ‘Poran’ and ‘Hawa’ at the event. The latter has broken Cineplex’s highest-grossing record of all time, according to Ruhel. The ceremony ended with cutting cake with the stars, celebrating the 18th birthday of the first Bangladeshi multiplex chain. This was followed by the screenings of two Hollywood films at Star Cineplex — ‘The Woman King’ and ‘The Free Fall.’
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Bangladesh’s growing media during her tenures has the freedom to say whatever they wish to say. “After saying everything, if someone says that he/she is not allowed to speak, what would be the answer? That’s what I’d like to know,” she said in an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA), aired on Tuesday. Read:“Not possible for us to take any more people, Rohingyas must go back” The prime minister was responding to a question on Digital Security Act (DSA) enacted by her government and its impact on freedom of media. She is now in Washington, on a visit to the United States. She said that Bangladesh had only a few TV and radio stations before she came to power in 1996 and those were controlled by the government. PM Hasina said once she came to power, she made an opening for the private sector to run media houses freely. Read: Hasina and Friends: Interactive gaming platform to educate children She said 32 private television channels are now operational among the approved 44 TV channels. The prime minister said people are taking part in television talk shows and they speak freely – true or false – and they criticize the government. She said there was no freedom of speech or movement during the military dictatorship.
The country’s leading online marketplace Daraz Bangladesh has organized the "Bangladesh Media Innovation Awards 2022" (BMIA 2022) event ceremony at the Ruposhi Bangla Grand Ballroom, InterContinental Dhaka on Tuesday. Daraz Bangladesh organized the first-of-its-kind media awards recognizing innovative practices toward digital transformation, content marketing, and news distribution, with the aim to seek out the leading lights in the local digital media for their innovative ideas and practices. Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the event as chief guest, while Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury was present as the special guest. Daraz Bangladesh’s Managing Director Syed Mostahidal Hoq, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer A H M Hasinul Quddus and other officials and media personnel from various industries and media outlets were also present at the ceremony. “Bangladesh is going through several changes and transitions. The opportunities for Daraz in the global marketplace and our media outlets in the global media landscape are truly limitless, and we want to thank Daraz Bangladesh for recognizing the innovators in our local media industry,” MA Mannan said at the event. Deputy Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury said, “Due to the lack of quality entertainment and meaningful programs in our media industry, people in our urban and rural communities are being misguided by religious extremists. We need to recognize the deserving media personnel who are trying to ensure quality content in tv, print and web, and this award is virtuously performing that responsibility.” Read: Daraz Bangladesh celebrates its 8th anniversary A total of twenty best performers from various wings of the country's media industry were presented with the prestigious BMIA 2022 awards. The winners were - The Business Standard, under the Innovative Print Layout category; Dhaka Tribune, under the category of Innovative Special Supplement, ICE Business Times, under the Best Business Magazine category; ICE today under the Best Lifestyle Magazine; The Business Standard, under the category of the Best use of infographics; The Daily Samakal, under the Best Social Media Campaign; Deepto TV, under the Best Use of Social Media category; Chorki, under the Best Digital Diversification Project category; The Daily Jugantor, under the Best Co-branded online project; Somoy TV, under the Most innovative digital report; DBC News, under the Best TV Programme for Women category; Duronto TV, under the Best TV Programme (Kids) category; Jamuna TV under the Best TV Programme (Entertainment) category; ATN Bangla under the Best TV Programme (Lifestyle) category; Ekattor Media Ltd., under the Best TV Programme (Sports); Independent TV under the Best Country Branding Programme category. Bangladesh Television (BTV), Channel I, Ittefaq and The Daily Star received the BMIA 2022 under the special recognition category. After the ceremony, popular singers Khayam Sanu Sandhi, Karishma Sanu Sovvota and Musharrat Aanchal performed at the event. Bangladesh Brand Practitioner was the event's outreach partner, SBK Foundation was the strategic partner, Reboot was the event partner and Dimadim was the ideation partner of the event.
The Hero Alam episode has been a bad advertisement for the state as a culture controller. Not that they are feeling embarrassed about it. As the police told the media, they have received many complaints against Hero Alam’s singing. So they brought him in. And the police told him not to do the singing which irritates many, at least going by the complaints. What is odd is that the police thought this to be worth noticing. As they act when under pressure, it seems a large section of the elite are seriously unhappy and feel “threatened” by Hero Alam. The police of course had another axe to grind. As they told the media, he had been using a police uniform in some of his videos acting as police bosses wearing constables’ dress. This had insulted the force in general. Also read: Accept Hero Alam’s nomination, HC orders EC What was unexpected is the response from social media which was overwhelmingly against such action. Hero was turned into a victim and a public hero. Many said the police had no business deciding what is culturally appropriate. That Alam was from the bottom and the police were shutting down a voice from there. Hero Alam had suddenly become a voice of a cultural class war. So where is the conflict ? Ex-Minister Murad who was sacked after rape threat tapes were leaked is reportedly one of the complainants. In a You Tube interview, he said, “ I was at an event where he was singing. He probably didn’t recognize me. After he finished singing I told him “have you no shame. ? The impudence you showed in singing is astounding. You need voice, talent, knowledge of music and you have none. Given the voice and the face God has given you, you should sing for the lower class which is your audience and should not come to Gulshan to sing. “ Admitting that Hero Alam had an audience who listened to him on You tube, his ire was that he should be singing in front of He had no doubt that he sang for the lower class and it’s Gulshan that was offended. Also read: DB quizzes Hero Alom for controversial video content The matter has been here for long but the issue is not about his singing but the control of social media. No one controls social media and that is anxiety creating. Hero Alam insults the establishment culture by his singing and it can’t be stopped on social media. Anyone studying popular culture will know that Facebook has built a virtual alternate world of culture which neither the establishment nor the shushils can recognize. With millions of views with which no mainstream product can compete, the sense of lack of control is high. And its growing. The conflict is not about who sings Tagore but who controls social media. The outcome is obvious. The state has turned Alam into a Hero. And the battle has no chance of ending right now, no matter how many times police class.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has welcomed a Bangladesh media delegation to New Delhi. Arindam Bagchi, joint secretary and spokesperson at the ministry, hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting delegation at Taj Mahal Hotel in the city Friday. Bagchi hoped that the familiarisation visit would help the delegation members know more about the variety and diversity of India. Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner to New Delhi Md Nural Islam, officials of the MEA, BSS New Delhi Bureau Chief Aminul Islam Mirja, and senior journalists from India were present.
Newspapers and electronic media in Bangladesh are enjoying unbridled freedom during the present government, Information and Broadcast Minister Hassan Mahmud told the Parliament said on Tuesday. Replying to a tabled question by Jatiya Party MP from Dhaka Syed Abu Hossain, the minister also said that free flow of information has been ensured to help accelerate national development. He said the government has formulated national media policy 2014, enacted Right to Information Act 2009 and established Information Commission and formulated online media policy 2017 to help journalists pursue objective journalism. He mentioned that due to the liberal broadcasting policy of the media-friendly government there are 46 televisions, 22 FM radios and 33 community radio channels in the private sector. READ: No festival planned for Padma Bridge opening: Info Minister The minister said 108 online news portals have been given registration certificates. In addition, registration certificates have been issued to online portals of 108 daily newspapers, while work is underway to give permission to 48 more. Responding to a question from ruling party MP from Dhaka Habib Hasan, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the government has no plan to provide new gas connections to residential areas. Responding to a question from ruling party MP from Chattogram M Abdul Latif, the state minister said the country's demand for natural gas is currently around 3,700 million cubic feet per day. In the FY2021–2022, the daily production from domestic gas fields has been 2,432 million cubic feet and the capacity to import LNG is equivalent to one thousand million cubic feet per day. Of this, a target of importing 625 million cubic feet of LNG per day was set FY 2021-2022 ending on June 30. Responding to a question from ruling party MP from Bhola Ali Azam, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said during the outgoing financial year the country's fertilizer factories have produced 9,85,889 tonnes of fertilizer till June 16, 2022 against the annual target of 9.5 lakh tonnes. He also said that urea fertilizer is imported from abroad.
No one has been infected with monkeypox virus in Bangladesh yet, said the Health Ministry on Tuesday. A report on the detection of a monkeypox infected foreign national in Bangladesh which is circulating on social media, online and electronic media is not true, according to a media release of the ministry. Also read: Suspected Monkeypox patient sent to hospital from Dhaka airport No monkeypox case has been detected yet in the country and if any case is found in future, people will be informed through press release, it said. Earlier in the day, a Turkish citizen, who showed suspected symptoms of monkeypox, was sent to hospital after arrival at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, authorities said. The man was first taken to the Airport Health Centre and then sent to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Mohakhali, said Dr Shahrier Sazzad, in-charge of Airport Health Centre. The traveler arrived by a flight of Turkish Airlines at noon. The airport health authorities detected symptoms of monkeypox in him during screening, said Dr Shahrier. On May 22, the government instructed the authorities concerned to strengthen surveillance at land, air and sea ports for screening travelers coming to Bangladesh from countries with confirmed monekypox cases. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued a notice in this regard. According to the notice, monkeypox is not a new disease. It was found among people in West and Middle African countries in the past. Recently it has been detected among people living in European and American countries with no history of travelling in the African countries. Also read: Monkeypox: Govt orders screening passengers at all airports, land ports People who contracted the virus or came close to the infected people should be listed as suspected patients of monkeypox, it said. The suspected patients or patients having symptoms should be taken to government hospitals or Infectious Diseases Hospital and kept in isolation and it should be reported to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Broadcast on Monday got another 60 days to examine the much-talked-about Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2022. Chairman of the Committee Hasanul Huq Inu sought the time in Parliament and the House approved. On March 28 of this year, Information and Broadcast Minister Hasan Mahmud placed the Bill and it was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the respective ministry for scrutiny of the proposed law. According to the source, the Standing Committee did not sit for a meeting till now. Various journalists organisations and owners associations have opposed many sections of the proposed law. The wages and benefits of journalists, employees and press workers, artists of broadcast, online, and print media outlets would be fixed under the proposed law. As per the Bill, journalists will be regarded as media professionals, not as workers. The wage board will be applicable for journalists and employees of all the media outlets, including print and electronic, as per the Bill. According to the Bill, the minimum working hours for media employees will be 48 hours in a week, while the casual leave will be 15 days instead of 10 days and the earned leave will be 100 days instead of 60 days annually. If anybody works beyond the stipulated time, he or she will be entitled to overtime pay. Besides, the festival leave will be 10 days in a year, recreation leave will be 15 days after every three years, and the maternity leave will be six months in place of the existing eight weeks. READ: Parliamentary committee wants expert officials as project heads If anyone or organisation violates the provisions of the Bill, s/he will be fined Tk 50,000-Tk 5 lakh. The government will be able to cancel the license or registration of the media. The owners of media outlets will also face punishment for violation of the law. If anyone or any organisation violates the provisions of the Bill, he/she will face monetary fine or imprisonment, the Cabinet secretary said. Once the new law is passed in parliament, jobs of media employees will no longer be regulated under the labour law. Currently, journalists and employees of media houses are regarded as “workers” under the labour law. Once the law is passed, they will be regarded as media personnel, not workers. According to the proposed law, a wage board will be formed for the media personnel. The wage board will fix salaries and allowances of media personnel in line with the salary scale of the government employees and it will be applicable to the owners of all media outlets. Every media house will have a provident fund which will be applicable to a new employee after one year in service instead of two years. An employee will contribute 8 to 10 percent of his basic salary, currently 7 percent, and an equal amount will be deposited in the fund by the owner of the media house, the proposed law states.