'Journalism is surely not for increasing conflict, or for tarnishing the image of the country'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said there was nothing to be worried about in the Digital Security Bill 2018, as it would not gag the journalist community.
"I have seen that several noted editors, journalists and intellectuals have spoken out against the bill. They are only concerned about whether they will have a voice, and they will not be gagged,” she said while delivering the valedictory speech at the 22nd session of the 10th parliament, reports UNB.
The prime minister added that the journalists would not be able to express their opinions in this regard had they been gagged.
She further said that the government must provide security to people and society, so that children and the young generation do not take the wrong path and adults do not misuse digital devices.
"Considering this aspect (security), we have passed the Digital Security Bill. So, there is nothing to be worried about in it," she said, adding that there was no logic behind the journalists’ fears.
"What we have done is for the wellbeing of the country, the nation and the children," she said.
The prime minister also said it was regrettable that some people had given opinions while considering only their own interests or from the interests of their organizations. "They haven't thought a single time about the interests of the entire society and the country."
She claimed that the journalist community only considered the matter of journalism, but journalism should be constructive and accountable to the country and its people.
“Journalism is surely not for increasing conflict, or for tarnishing the image of the country,” Hasina said.
“The kind of journalism which will take the country forward and develop confidence among the people is the one which should be practised, not the one which seeks to mislead people and create conflict,” she added.
She also emphasized that journalism should not instigate terrorism and militancy.
Noting that there had only been one television channel in the country in the past, she said her government was the first to dare to allow private television channels and private radio stations.
Mentioning that there are both merits and disadvantages to social networking sites and digital devices, the prime minister said: “We think that it is essential to ensure the security of children, students, youths and elderly people."
"We are building a Digital Bangladesh, and trying to let people enjoy the benefits while keeping them away from the negative impacts. With this goal, we've passed the Digital Security Bill," she added.