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‘Mass Media Employees Bill to be placed in JS’

Published : 02 Jan 2022 10:29 PM | Updated : 03 Jan 2022 03:28 PM

Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said the Mass Media Employees Bill (Conditions of Service) will be placed in the next parliamentary session.

He said that the law minister has already signed the long-standing demand of journalists for enactment of Mass Media Employees Bill (Conditions of Service) and hopefully, it can be taken to the next parliamentary session.

He made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at the reunion and biennial general meeting organised by Chattogram Journalists Forum Dhaka (CJFD) at the National Press Club on Sunday.

The minister said, “After the law gets passed, journalists at all levels, print and electronic media, especially online, television and radio will get legal protection.”

Dr Hasan Mahmud said besides criticizing the government in the media, there is also a need to admire its good work.

He said, “If the people responsible for certain duties make a mistake in any place that should be criticized. However, the criticism should not be in that way which makes the miscreants and communal evil forces more powerful. We all have to be alert so that the communal evil forces would not be able to seize power.”

He further said, “I was asked by journalists to fix the eligibility criteria for recruitment of journalists. I personally do not consider it appropriate to fix any degree for that.” 

“It is often observed that the fake journalists are flooded at upazila level. People get a negative impact due to their activities. I have asked the Press Council to set criteria in this regard to bring back the discipline,” he said.

The minister also said the success of the journalists' organisations is in being able to work for the journalists. 

“According to the wage board, every organisation is supposed to have group insurance for their journalists and employees. However, that did not happen. It does not require a lot of money. On behalf of the government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has formed a journalist welfare trust. When a journalist dies, his family gets Tk 3 lakh from the trust,” he added.

CJFD Acting President Md Mostafa Kamal presided over the programme.

Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Chairman of DBC24 TV, Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Former President of BFUJ, Saiful Alam, Editor of Dainik Jugantar, Shahjahan Sardar Chowdhury, former President of National Press Club spoke as special guests, along with others on the occasion.