A free press is the cornerstone of any functioning democracy
It is disheartening to hear that Bangladesh’s position in the World Press Freedom Index has dropped to 150th, four notches lower than last year.
This report is indicative of the growing threat facing our press in recent years, with certain steps taken by the government, such as the implementation of the Digital Security Act, contributing to the deep concern felt by journalists everywhere.
It must be remembered that a free press is the cornerstone of any functioning democracy – Bangladesh is on the verge of middle-income status, and with the world watching closely, it is more important than ever that the sanctity of journalism is protected.
The function of a fully functioning press is to ensure accountability, be it in government or elsewhere, and provide the people of this country with the right information in times of confusion and doubt.
With the advent of social media and other platforms often disseminating fake news and rumours, a strong press has become even more crucial to our nation’s success, and to ensure that it is the truth that continues to triumph.
We hope that, moving forward, the government gives due credit to the role press freedom plays in the continued success and development of the nation, and takes steps accordingly to ensure that the journalists of this country never feel attacked or intimidated -- too often, journalists have been mistreated and harassed for simply doing their jobs.
It is time for that to change, and for the government to truly treat press freedom as a crucial part of our development vision.