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PIB chief: If you fear to tell the truth, you are not a journalist

  • Published at 08:57 pm July 15th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:58 pm July 15th, 2018
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Participants with speakers at a workshop on news reporting in Dhaka on Sunday, July 15, 2018 Courtesy

Journalists who can be influenced by money or power cannot remain in the profession, the PIB chief said at a journalism workshop on Sunday

A journalist should always strive for accuracy and objectivity, and be fearless in telling the truth, Shah Alamgir, director general of Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB), said at an event on Sunday.

Speaking at the closing day of a two-day workshop on news reporting, the PIB chief further urged journalists to be more responsible in writing news and earn credibility through their work.

The workshop, titled “Fact-checking and verification techniques in news reporting,” was organized by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), with the support of Internews, an international media development organization.

Twenty-six journalists from Dhaka-based print, electronic and online media attended the workshop.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the PIB chief said the journalists who can be influenced by money or power cannot remain in the profession.

“When I started my career in journalism, I knew that I might get attacked, or criminals and political figures might try to influence me, but I was determined about exposing the truth,” Alamgir said to the participants. “If a journalist fears to tell the truth, he or she cannot remain a journalist.”

He further mentioned Internews and BNNRC’s collaboration to arrange training on conflict-sensitive journalism, digital safety, and physical security, stressing that all of these were timely issues.

Chris Stephen, a Guardian journalist and veteran war correspondent who conducted the workshop, said journalists should be more enthusiastic and careful about the source and motive behind the information circulated. 

“The emergence of new tools might give certain assistance, but at the end of the day, it is up to the journalists to be inquisitive and focused, to make sure they don’t propagate anything less than the truth,” he added. 

Praising the vibrant nature of the Bangladeshi media scene, Internews Country Director Syed Zain Al-Mahmood said of the participants: “You ask questions and are willing to dig deep, which shows you are capable and have a sceptical attitude. This is inspiring.”

BNNRC CEO AHM Bazlur Rahman said the concept of internet governance is nothing new.

“However, we must make best use of it. We have to understand how internet can lead us to accurate information. Internet has reshaped our life, and it is really something that we should value,” he added.