Rights activists, journalists, and civil society representatives urged the government not to curb freedom of expression by controlling the internet.
The speakers urged the government to create an enabling environment for free and independent journalism for the sake of democracy, says a press release.They made the call at a discussion meeting titled ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’ organised by VOICE at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity in the capital on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day on Friday.
Presided my VOICE Executive Director Ahmed Swapan Mahmud presided over the programme while Prof Gitiara Nasreen, journalists Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Saleem Samad and Khairuzzaman Kamal, rights activist and lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, SM Monjur Rashid of OXFAM Bangladesh, Syeda Aireen Jaman of PEN’s Bangladesh Centre, among others, addressed the event.
The speakers called on the government to ensure the right to information to all citizens and introduce media literacy in textbooks. They said not only the laws and policies curb freedom, but also division of journalists and corporate control threaten press freedom largely.
Eminent journalist Bulbul emphasized on rule of law and accountability not only in the media, but also in the overall government activities.
Prof Gitiara Nasreen said journalists should not compromise with influential and powerful corners for their own interest.
Journalists must speak out for the sake of upholding people’s right to know to provide truthful content at the media, she said.