President M Abdul Hamid on Wednesday asked the media to give the highest priority to the national interest in presenting news and views being accountable to the country and its people.
“Newspapers and electronic media now enjoy full freedom of expression here . . . You (media people) criticize yourselves; even me also. But mind that criticism should be information based and not be one-sided anyway,” he said while addressing the “Bazlur Rahman Smriti Padak-2017” distribution ceremony in the Liberation War Museum auditorium at Agargaon here.
Highlighting the role of media in flourishing free flow of information and expression, the President said the mass media has a lot of responsibility to do constructive criticism and play a very significant role in proper decision-making.
“Mass media and democracy are complementary to each other. Newspapers always highlight public opinions as well as their expectation and pinpoint the government’s missteps through constructive criticism,” Abdul Hamid observed.
The President recalled the contribution of the former editor of the daily Sangbad who was also the husband of Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, said Bazlu Bhai as an honest and brave journalist fought his whole life to establish the rights of the masses, and a non-communal, just and exploitation-free society.
Highly appreciating non-communal, progressive spirit and objective journalism of late Bazlur, President Hamid said Bazlur Rahman still remains an ideal in journalism.
Congratulating the journalists for getting the Bazlur Rahman award, the President hoped that this achievement would play a very significant role to let the new generation know the real history of the Liberation Struggle and Liberation War.
As he (Bazlur) cherished the spirit of Liberation War and non-communal ideology, the President said, the late journalist never compromised with any evil and anti-state elements in his lifetime.
At the outset of his speech, President Hamid recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs who made their supreme sacrifices in the 1971 War of Liberation and other democratic movements.
Two journalists — Rita Bhoumick of the daily Jugantor (Print Media category) and Soma Islam of Channel -I (Electronic Media) — received the award for their reports on the War of Liberation.
The Liberation War Museum introduced the ‘Bazlur Rahman Smriti Padak’ after the name of eminent journalist and former editor of the Daily Sangbad, who was an organizer of the Liberation War in 2008.
Former Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique presided over the Padak distribution ceremony, organized by the Liberation War Museum.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq, members of parliament, senior politicians, museum’s trustee board members and jury board members, senior civil and military officials and secretaries concerned to the President were present on the occasion.