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Dhaka Tribune

50 eminent citizens slam Prothom Alo for its Independence Day report

Media has to act responsibly because news influences people's thoughts, they said

Update : 02 Apr 2023, 02:09 PM

Fifty Prominent citizens of Bangladesh have condemned and protested the release of an alleged anti-state conspiratorial report in the Daily Prothom Alo on Independence Day.

The 50 eminent citizens, including professors, intellectuals, physicians, engineers, artists, noted journalists and social researchers, issued a joint statement on Saturday saying: "... We are observing with deep concern that ignoring moral responsibility (as a mass media outlet), Prothom Alo is trying to tarnish the reputation of the country by publishing misleading information."

Noting that the job of the media is to present the correct scenario of society to the people, they said the media has to behave responsibly because news published in the mass media has a deep influence on people's minds, reports BSS.

"On the great Independence Day, they published a false report undermining the independence of the country. As conscious citizens of the country, we strongly condemn this ill, conspiratorial effort," they said.

In a recent Prothom Alo report, a photograph of a child keeping the National Martyrs' Memorial in the background was published with a statement of a day labourer. The eminent citizens said the statement mentioned in the caption undermined the glorious independence of Bangladesh.

"Quoting one's statement in the caption of another's photograph goes against media ethics. Considering the language of the quotation, it does not appear to be the speech of a day labourer at all. Rather, it appears to be the editorial statement of the newspaper in the name of that day labourer," they said.

The 50 prominent citizens include former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof Abdul Mannan, former vice chancellor of Rajshahi University Prof Abdul Khaleque, former VC of Chittagong University Prof Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury, former VC of Jahangirnagar University Prof Sharif Enamul Kabir, former president of Dhaka University Teachers Association Prof Khondoker Bazlul Huq, former VC of Jagannath University Prof Mizanur Rahman, Chief Editor of Ekattor Television Mozammel Babu, Chief Editor of DBC News M Monjurul Islam, National Press Club General Secretary Shyamal Dutta, Dhaka University Senate Member Dr Nujhat Chowdhury, and noted dramatists Tarana Halim and Pijush Bhandapadday.

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