Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Editors Guild holds its first public event

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-05-15 23:02:15 BdST

bdnews24

Editors Guild, Bangladesh has organised its first public event five months after the association emerged with aims to protect editorial freedom and promote responsible journalism.

Besides politicians from across the divide, Dhaka-based foreign diplomats joined the function at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Led by their President Toufique Imrose Khalidi, members of the Guild welcomed the guests to the function – Iftar and dinner.

Besides the prime minister’s advisers Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Salman F Rahman, Awami League Presidium Member and former agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury, and BNP Standing Committee Member and former information minister Abdul Moyeen Khan attended the function.

Workers Party President and former minister Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal or JaSoD President and former minister Hasanul Haq Inu, and Communist Party of Bangladesh of CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim also joined the programme.

Guild President Khalidi presented the association’s goal and objective in his welcome address.

The Prime Minister’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury speaking in the first public function of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury speaking in the first public function of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday.

Among the guests, Prime Minister’s Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi spoke about what he expects of the Guild.

“I am a bit confused about media and all these stuff in this brave new world. So I hope you will also guide us, as much as you fight for freedom and responsibility, to show how we can work together for the welfare of this country, for humanity and for our future generation,” he said.

The prime minister’s adviser also said it is time the editors of the mainstream media started thinking about how to make social media responsible media.

BNP leader Moyeen said: “Media and press can make and break a government. And that’s why it is important that they play the right role in society.”

BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan speaking in the first public function of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday.

BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan speaking in the first public function of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at a Dhaka hotel on Wednesday.

Speaking about the objective of the organisation, Khalidi said the Guild will fight for editorial freedom.

“The Editors Guild will work towards a free media in Bangladesh; its members will fight for editorial freedom, do whatever it takes to restore or enhance the dignity of the editorial institution, and seek to create an environment that will discourage self censorship,” he said.

Diplomats of different countries joined the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Diplomats of different countries joined the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh at the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday.

He said parts of the Digital Security Act 2018 threaten and undermine journalism, renewing the call for amendment or repeal of the clauses. 

He also explained why they have formed the Guild when Bangladesh already has another grouping for editors.

“The answer is simple: they do not possibly represent even two percent of the news audience in this country. Just a few newspapers with dwindling circulation cannot surely create an organisation representative enough for this country with tens of millions of news consumers,” the president of the Guild said.

Editors Guild has representation from across Bangladesh’s media spectrum — Internet, television, radio and print, he pointed out.

Top leaders of a wide array of political parties and foreign diplomats attending the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Top leaders of a wide array of political parties and foreign diplomats attending the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Among the diplomats, Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das and UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo joined the function while British High Commissioner Robert Dickson came along with his spouse.

Norway Ambassador Sidsel Bleken, Netherlands Ambassador Harry Verweij, Deputy Head of French Mission Frank Grützmacher Técourt, European Union First Secretary (Political) Erika Hasznos, Acting Director of the American Center Joshua Kamp and diplomats of different countries attended the function.

Workers Party President and former minister Rashed Khan Menon shaking hands with British High Commissioner Robert Dickson in the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Workers Party President and former minister Rashed Khan Menon shaking hands with British High Commissioner Robert Dickson in the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Bangladesh’s former ambassador Raziul Hasan also joined the programme. 

Former chief information commissioner Golam Rahman and former president of the National Press Club Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman were among the guests.

Former principal secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and several other former and current bureaucrats attended the function.

Chittagong Stock Exchange Chairman Mohammad Shamim Chowdhury and Rural Development and Cooperatives Secretary Md Kamal Uddin Talukder were present.

Among the litterateurs, Bangla Academy Director General Habibullah Siraji joined the event. 

The Prime Minister’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan, Editors Guild, Bangladesh President Toufique Imrose Khalidi, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo and CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim in the first public event of the organisation in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister’s Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, BNP Standing Committee Member Abdul Moyeen Khan, Editors Guild, Bangladesh President Toufique Imrose Khalidi, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo and CPB President Mujahidul Islam Selim in the first public event of the organisation in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Daily Sangbad Editor and Publisher Altamas Kabir and Managing Editor Kashem Humayun, Daily Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta, Sargam Editor Quazi Rownaq Hossain, Ananda Alo Editor Rezanur Rahman, and News 24’s Rahul Raha were among the journalists who attended the programme.

Nari Sangbadik Kendra President Nasimun Ara Huq Minu and Secretary Parveen Sultana Jhuma were also in attendance.

Duronto TV Managing Director Abhijit Chowdhury, RTV CEO Syed Ashik Rahman, DOT Editor Mostapha Khalid Palash joined the event. 

The Prime Minister’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman speaking with the members of Editors Guild, Bangladesh in its first public function in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman speaking with the members of Editors Guild, Bangladesh in its first public function in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Besides Khalidi, the Guild’s members The Daily Janakantha Executive Editor Swadesh Roy, Gazi Television and sarabangla.net Editor-in-Chief Syed Ishtiaque Reza, Ekattor Television Editor-in-Chief Mozammel Babu, Desh Television Editor Sukanta Gupta Alak, ATN Bangla Chief Executive Editor ZI Mamun, Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russell, Asian Age Editorial Board Chairman Shoeb Chowdhury, Maasranga TV Chief News Editor Rejoan Haq, Amader Orthoneeti Editor Nasima Khan Monty, and Bangladesh Post Editor-in-Chief Sharif Shahab Uddin greeted the guests.    

Islamic scholar Moulana Farid Uddin Masud, who leads the largest Eid congregation of the country in Kishoreganj’s Sholakia, led prayers before the Iftar. 

Islamic scholar Moulana Farid Uddin Masud, the chairman of Bangladesh Jamiatul Islam who leads the largest Eid congregation of the country in Kishoreganj’s Sholakia, conducting a Munajat before Iftar at the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Islamic scholar Moulana Farid Uddin Masud, the chairman of Bangladesh Jamiatul Islam who leads the largest Eid congregation of the country in Kishoreganj’s Sholakia, conducting a Munajat before Iftar at the first public event of the Editors Guild, Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Editorial leaders from across the news publishing industry in Bangladesh launched the association in December last year in an effort to protect editorial freedom and promote responsible journalism in a country where ethical practices are in deficit.

The organisation formed a fully fledged committee and expanded it soon after the constitution of its convening panel five months ago.

It also formed some subcommittees to formulate the code of ethics, bring in new members and manage funds and operations.

The Guild has prepared and approved its constitution and membership policy as well.

Toufique Khalidi told the event that they planned to hold their first national council and general meeting this year where they would reveal more details of their goals, objectives and activities.