We condemn the practice of unethical journalism by a Prothom Alo photojournalist who instigated a child by offering
money to make comments on the Independence and National Day.
On the Independence and National Day, the photojournalist gave a kid Taka 10 asking him to comment saying, “We want freedom of fish, meat and rice", which goes against the ethics of journalism and is a shameless example of using a child for political purposes.
The boy was giving interview in front of the National Memorial in Savar, which is a symbol of our freedom; and what he did not say was publicised. The child himself later told reporters that the Prothom Alo journalist asked him to say this in exchange of Taka 10.
The veracity of the child’s assertion and withdrawal of the Prothom Alo news item 17 minutes after its release established the fact that the child was used for political purposes to make the government embarrassed, which is a punishable crime. The story was false, fabricated and politically motivated. Police arrested Prothom Alo journalist Shamsuzzaman after a case was filed against him by the offended people.
Journalists have to work
responsibly keeping in
mind that nobody is
above the law
According to people from all strata, this kind of falsehood against the state, society, independence is a crime. We think running such false, fabricated and ill-motivated story on the Independence Day has completely gone against the ethics of journalism.
The increasing trend of misinformation and fake news has become a grave concern day by day. Therefore, journalists have to work responsibly keeping in mind that nobody is above the law.
If we all work together, we will be able to fight the mounting trend of misinformation and fake news. In this regard, everyone has a responsibility to combat the scourge of fake news and disinformation.
We all have to promote strong norms on professional journalism, support investigative journalism, reduce financial incentives for fake news, and improve digital literacy among the general public.
The practice of ethics in mass media is very important in the multidimensional development of society and state. The expansion and freedom of mass media are very necessary in multidimensional development of the state, democracy and society, and at the same time, ethics in journalism is vital to this end too.
The government does not want to control the press as it believes the press will be an auxiliary force of society, family and country. Therefore, the press must have liberty, but, side by side good sense should prevail on everybody for the sake of society while disseminating news and views.