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>journalists’ leaders speak of ‘invisible pressure’ on media

>EDITORS of print and electronic media and senior journalists yesterday expressed concern over the increasing pressure on the media regarding freedom of expression under the state of emergency, reports BBC Bangla Service. (Read full report)
“The editors and senior journalists said it is tough to work independently under the state of emergency,” said the BBC report broadcast at 7:30pm yesterday.
“The editors of different newspapers told a joint meeting that the situation has become intolerable and it must be resisted unitedly,” reported BBC without mentioning the meeting place.
“The senior journalists will wait for the Chief Adviser’s (CA) address to the nation before taking any step,” it said.
“The speakers alleged that a military intelligence agency is increasing pressure on newspapers day by day,’ BBC added.
Two news editors of TV channels said they have become fed-up with the increased pressure put on them in the last few weeks.
New Age reports:
Editors and journalist union leaders on Monday spelled out concern over ‘invisible, unwritten pressure on the media’.
The journalists held a meeting at the National Press Club, focusing on impediments to the free flow of information, especially during the state of emergency.
The meeting was told that the ‘media are going through a crisis due to the state of emergency’.
‘There are invisible, unwritten pressures and controls on the media.’
The meeting discussed different problems being faced by newspapers and the electronic media.
Union leaders demanded inclusion of different problems of journalists, including implementation of the seventh wage board award in discussion.
Bangla-language daily Amar Desh editor Ataus Samad presided over the meeting.
Ataus Samad told reporters: ‘We have discussed the setbacks to the free flow of information because of the state of emergency.’
‘I think the Emergency Powers Rules are hampering the rights of media and the right to expression. It should come to an end.’
‘We will sit again on Tuesday and discuss the problems.’
Prothom Alo editor Motiur Rahman said, ‘This is no exception. Newspapers were under pressure even during political governments.’
The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam refused to comment.
However, a participant of the meeting quoted Anam as saying: ‘Press freedom is the soul of our profession. This freedom has to be ensured.’
The Bangladesh Observer editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said, ‘We think newspapers are now under some invisible and unwritten pressure. It is a suffocating situation. Such an environment is an obstacle to a free media.’
Manabzamin editor Motiur Rahman Chowdhury said, ‘The freedom of the press is now in danger. We have come here to discuss ways to overcome the situation. We want an end to the obstacles in the way of press freedom.’
New Age editor Nurul Kabir said, ‘A detective agency of the government was intervening and dishing out unwanted advice to newspapers and electronic media. These things have been discussed. We think such things are in no way acceptable.’
BFUJ president Mozammel Haque said, ‘The present government has been controlling the press after the imposition of the state of emergency. It must end.’
News Today editor Reazuddin Ahmed, Ittefaq editor Rahat Khan, Samokal editor Abed Khan, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha chief editor Jaglul Ahmed Chowdhury, Inqilab editor AMM Bahauddin, Sangram editor Abul Asad, Jugantor deputy editor Shahjahan Sarder, bdnews24.com’s editor-in-chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi, Amader Shomoy editor Naimul Islam Khan, Bhorer Kagoj editor Shyamol Dutta, leaders of two factions of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists M Mozammel Haque, Monzurul Ahsan Bulbul and Ruhul Amin Gazi, Dainik Dinkal executive editor Maruf Kamal Khan, journalist leaders Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan and Omar Faruq and Dhaka Reporters Unity general secretary Ilyas Khan were present.
NTV chief news editor Khairul Anwar and Channel-i chief news editor Nazmul Ashraf attended the meeting. Also present were National Press Club president Shawkat Mahmud and general secretary Kamaluddin Sabuj.
Earlier, editors, editors-in-chief and chief news editors of national dailies, news agencies and private television channels held a meeting on Thursday, chaired by The Independent editor Mahbubul Alam.
Related report:
Journalists want end to emergency

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