The press cannot play this role if journalists are constantly under attack
Every day, journalists put themselves in harm’s way so that they may bring the news to the public -- as such, they not only serve as the eyes and ears of a nation, but play a crucial role in preserving democracy.
It has been a terrible thing to see dozens of journalists from various media outlets being attacked in the last few days, simply for doing their job.
Media personnel have been attacked with sticks, iron rods, and machetes by cadres, and some of these attacks took place in the presence of law enforcement officers, who stood by doing nothing to protect the journalists.
Further concerning is the fact that prominent photojournalist Shahidul Alam has been detained by the authorities under the ICT Act, which raises questions about the freedom of expression in the country.
Recently, a lot of rumours have been flying around regarding the attack on student protesters, creating a tremendous amount of confusion among the public.
Suffice to say, this confusion, and the resulting chaos, has not done the government any favours, and surely the authorities do not want people to rely on unfounded facts rather than verified reports.
That is where the role of press comes in -- to dispel rumours, to set the record straight, and to thereby prevent fake news from going out of control.
But the press cannot play this role if journalists are constantly under attack, or have to operate in a climate of fear and repression.
We hope these unwarranted attacks on journalists stop, and those responsible for them are brought to book.