Editors Guild will do whatever it takes to pursue freedom: Toufique Imrose Khalidi

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-12-21 22:32:16 BdST

The Editors Guild, Bangladesh will do whatever it takes to pursue freedom and uphold the dignity of the editorial institution, its President Toufique Imrose Khalidi has said.

“We will not relent.”

In his speech to the first anniversary of the Editors Guild at Amari Dhaka on Saturday, Khalidi referred to a pledge he made at the association’s first public event in May.

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi speaks at the organisation’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi speaks at the organisation’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

Education Minister Dipu Moni joined the members of the Editors Guild and guests in celebrating the anniversary of the association that pulls in editorial leaders from across the news publishing industry in Bangladesh. Acting British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor and chief government spokesperson Principal Information Officer Surath Kumar Sarkar also joined the event.

“A year on, despite all odds, we have been able to draw up our charter and are in the middle of drafting a guideline for ethical standards in our journalism,” said Khalidi, also editor-in-chief of bdnews24.com.

Education Minister Dipu Moni speaks at Editors Guild’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

Education Minister Dipu Moni speaks at Editors Guild’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

The number of Editors Guild members has grown from nine to 20 since it started its journey. “And many more applications are being considered by our membership committee. We hope to add few more soon,” he said.

“As I welcome our new members on board, I have to admit we haven’t been able to do much in certain areas. I thought it would be much easier to do things like getting the formal registration.”

“It’s turned out to be a quite lengthy process. We haven’t made it yet, which is why we haven’t been able to hold our inaugural annual general meeting and the grand event we planned,” he said.

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi and guests celebrate the organisation’s first founding anniversary by cutting a cake on Saturday.

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi and guests celebrate the organisation’s first founding anniversary by cutting a cake on Saturday.

“We do not lose hope so easily and shall continue with our agenda — the number one being press freedom and then of course upholding the dignity of the editorial institution,” Khalidi said. “I have to say it’s not been an easy ride for us. It has never been smooth anywhere in the world. One of the few exceptions is Norway and some other countries.”

Responding to Khalidi’s remarks, Dipu Moni said: “We certainly agree with what you’ve just said. The media is one of the institutions that work to uphold people’s rights, solidify democracy and take the country forward.”

Members of Editors Guild and guests celebrate the organisation’s first founding anniversary on Saturday.

“But freedom entails responsibility. Without it, freedom deteriorates into a lack of accountability. Just like in politics, the media has two sides to it. We must give place to what is good and keep at bay what is bad.”

Dipu Moni viewed the Editors Guild as an important organisation in the news world. Reflecting on her childhood, she said: “Although I found myself in politics, I’m very close to newspapers. The reason is that I grew up with a very large newspaper in Bangladesh.”

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi speaks at the organisation’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

Editors Guild President Toufique Imrose Khalidi speaks at the organisation’s first founding anniversary at Amari Dhaka on Saturday.

On behalf of the Editors Guild, Khalidi thanked Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russell for sponsoring the dinner, and congratulated him on his winning the National Film Award for best lyricist for 2018.

“We are truly proud of him.”