The information minister made the announcement during a meeting with BFUJ and DUJ leaders on Jan 14
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday assured journalists that the ninth wage board for newspapers and news agencies would be announced in due time.
“Today, I am going to start working on the gazette for the ninth wage board for journalists,” the information minister said during a meeting with journalist leaders at National Press Club in Dhaka, reported BSS.
Hasan, who is the publicity and publication secretary of the ruling party, said he had also discussed the journalists’ housing issue with the officials concerned.
“I hope that all the problems that journalists and media employees have will be resolved soon,” he added.
The minister’s comments came as he visited National Press Club for his maiden interaction with leaders of the press club, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) since he assumed office on January 8, a day after the new cabinet was sworn in.
“This is our state… I am a lawmaker for all, not only for my constituency. Our leader Sheikh Hasina is also the prime minister of all citizens,” he said at the event.
Speaking to the journalist leaders, the information minister said on the very first day in office, he began working for the betterment of journalists as well as the media as “my top priority is to work for the welfare of newsmen and the freedom of media.”
The minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government had always been friendly and helpful towards journalists – even those who wrote and spoke against the Awami League.
Hasan sought journalists’ support in discharging his responsibilities as the information minister, recalling their assistance in the past as the Awami League’s publicity secretary.
He expressed hope that the journalist community would take necessary steps against yellow journalism and ensure the media’s stake as the “fourth state” by practising responsible journalism.
Hasan said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assured freedom of media after assuming office 10 years ago. “Now we should become more conscious while pursuing journalism. Everyone has the right to criticize the government. But we expect the criticism to be constructive, so the state does not suffer,” he added.
The minister further said his ministry would work on the Media Employees (Condition of Services) Act, and assured the journalists that he would look into their concerns regarding the Digital Security Act.
BFUJ President Molla Jalal and Secretary General Saban Mahmud, DUJ Vice-President Abdul Mazid and General Secretary Sohel Haidar Chowdhury, among others, addressed the meeting.
Later, the information minister met with the leaders of National Press Club, where he promised to take necessary steps to help construct the proposed 31-storey Bangabandhu Media Complex on the club premises.