Freedom of Expression Versus Media
When I see my face in the mirror, a different picture emerges! That picture is neither bright nor visually pleasing. This picture is very indifferent, incomplete, in some cases tainted, ugly. We are always vocal about democracy, saying yes to the question of freedom, but never giving dignity to the press or the real media. We are vocal in demanding the rights of the people, but we are reluctant to ensure the freedom of the media, which is the protector of the people.
We have not yet learned the lesson of giving journalists due respect; Not even willing to. We have always failed to realize the necessity and importance of free flow of information in the transition from undemocratic to democracy. Because I love to cover my own narrowness, I do not hesitate to annoy those who are eager to reveal the truth, and do not hesitate to call them public scoundrels.
We may not love truth-seeking journalists, but we have no equal in hurting their lives. This situation needs to end. Otherwise, in a democratic state, there will be nothing called democracy.
The question comes at the beginning, is our media independent? Never before, not yet. History of Journalism From that English period till today the newspaper has never seen the sun of independence. We have always seen images of frustration in journalists and in the media. All governments want to silence the media, and the current government is no exception.
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We are vocal in demanding the rights of the people, but we are reluctant to ensure the freedom of the media, which is the protector of the people.
Just as controlling people’s freedom of speech in the name of policy is reprehensible, so is abusing the media and newspapers in the name of freedom to create tension and unrest in society. Controlling the media is the name of deprivation of democracy. It is not at all pleasant to do so.
No country in the world has ever brought that benefit. I am not against the policy. Policies are needed for everything. The problem is abuse. And this problem is evident in our country. We abuse anything whenever we get the chance.
The policy will be made to protect the beauty of freedom of speech. If that policy takes the form of ‘control’ and suppresses that desired freedom, how will it be prevented? Broadcasting is the alternative to democracy for the people to present constructive discussions on the activities of the government and the opposition. Democracy in Bangladesh may face new questions around the world in any attempt to control the media in the name of policy.
There is a glorious chapter in the struggle for democracy in this country. Journalists have a similar chapter in the struggle for independent media and free flow of information. Neither of the two struggles in this country has been able to shine in full sunlight.
Freedom of media and press is expected. But even in 50 years of independence, our news never got that freedom. The issue is being questioned again and again by the affluent society. The same is happening during the ruling government. The misuse of the ICCT Act on ‘Broadcasting Policies’ is a burning proof of this.
In fact, all governments want to control the media. The Jatiya Party and Ershad government, the BNP government that started from the post-independence period is not over even today. However, no government could fully control it. That is only temporary.
One thing we have always seen is that in almost every country in the modern world, the government and its allies have attacked the media. Especially when governments known as elected democratic forces want to prolong their power, the misfortune of the media comes down. In fact, control started before the publication of newspapers in our country.
Broadcasting is the alternative to democracy for the people to present constructive discussions on the activities of the government and the opposition.
To publish a newspaper, the publisher and printer have to make an announcement to the district magistrate. Prior permission is required to publish regular or temporary newspapers. It is easy to see how favorable it can be to newspapers and opinion.
Newspaper authorities themselves can sometimes impose psychological control on journalists, columnists, writers and intellectuals. It can create a different environment for free thought and expression. Recently creative writers have been seen writing free hand columns in daily newspapers.
It is likely to have a positive effect on the world of thought. At the same time, if their role as columnists becomes paramount, if the ideology, philosophy and thought of the newspaper take the initiative to exert undue influence on them, then on the one hand creative literature will be damaged and on the other hand the range of intellectual practice will be limited.
An ordinary reader wants to know the truth through newspapers. It is the responsibility of the newspaper to highlight that fact. The present government is the biggest obstacle in revealing this truth. The main function of a newspaper is to work for the welfare of the society and the state. The welfare of the society and the state means the welfare of the people.
Newspapers should give top priority to the welfare of the people. The role of the newspaper is most important in protecting the image of the country. To this end, the newspapers in this country have struggled to survive. It has always been noticed that anti-government newspapers have to struggle the most.
After the fall of Ershad in 1990, the media of this country started to develop with a new character. Since then, many regulatory laws have been repealed. It is true that in 1996 the state