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Govt: Legal action to be taken against fake news portals

  • Published at 08:43 pm November 26th, 2020
Photo: Bigstock

Actions would be taken against news portals that are working on other issues instead of publishing news, says the information minister

Issuing a note of warning against fake news portals, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said legal actions would be taken soon against all fake online news portals.

“There were only a few online news portals in 2009. Now, there are so many online portals. But not all of them are helpful in many cases. For this, we started online registration activities and we have a plan to complete the registration process within the year as far as possible,” he said.

The information minister said actions would be taken from next year against online new portals that are involved in serving personal interest instead of publishing objective news, in spreading rumours and in creating instability in the society.

He was addressing the inaugural function of ‘Reporters Journal’, an online journal of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), and DRU Writer Award 2020 at DRU auditorium in the capital.

Al-Arafah Islami Bank Deputy Managing Director Md Shafiqur Rahman and DRU General Secretary Riaz Chowdhury addressed the function as special guests with DRU President Rafiqul Islam Azad in the chair.

Hasan said actions would be taken after registration activities of online news portals. It is the need of society and journalists as well, he added.

He said actions would be taken against portals that are working on other issues instead of publishing news. “This is not the scenario of Bangladesh only, but the picture of the whole world. In developed countries, it has been possible to establish discipline in this sector which has not been possible here fully. Sometimes, wrong news is published,” he added.

There are many unintentional mistakes, especially in online media, he said, adding that it would be possible to reduce the mistakes in news.

In this regard, DRU took initiative of providing training to journalists along with PIB, which is really appreciable, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.

He said now it is seen that someone opens an online portal and gives a journalist’s card to one. But he is not real journalist, he added.

Hasan said the all journalists’ organizations including DRU could take a pivotal role to stop such incidents.

Some ‘fake journalists’ can bring disrepute to the entire journalist community, he said, adding that the lawyers’ associations can catch the fake advocates.

In this situation, if the journalists’ organizations take the initiative then the government would stand beside them.

The information minister thanked DRU for inaugurating the online journal and said it is easy to broadcast information to common people through online. Bangladesh is now a digital country and it is possible for the digitalization.

He said there were only about 4 million people who used internet in 2009. But now, over 110 million people are using the internet. About 30 to 40 million people used mobile phone in 2009, he said, adding that now about 155 million people are using mobile SIM cards which has been possible only for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic, pragmatic and farsighted leadership.

The information minister handed over crests and honorarium to the writers who won awards at the program.

Later, Hasan inaugurated a shed for motorbikes for DRU members.

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