The Ministry of Information received more than 8,000 applications, seeking government registration for establishing news websites.
“The government will issue registrations for those who are serious about establishing news websites,” Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said.
“Online media will be disciplined, once the registration is completed after proper verification and scrutiny,” the minister told the press on Monday.
“The number of applications received is definitely astounding. We have to select a handful from those,” Hasan Mahmud told the journalists after a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) at the DC Conference in the capital.
The Information Minister, at the meeting, raised the question that whether thousands of news portals are required in a small country like Bangladesh.
“No news portal will be allowed to launch without scrutiny and proper verification. Portals that are to be established for presenting news, and not for any other purposes, will get the registration.”
Earlier, Ministry of Information set June 30 as the last date to apply for registration concerning new online media. Later, the deadline was extended for 15 days to July 15.
In a bid to prevent ‘yellow journalism’, Bangladesh government moved to bring the news portals under registration in 2015, the deadline for registration being December 15, which got several extensions.
“The move is to promote the real journalists, while ensuring their privileges provided by the government, as well as, prevent yellow journalism,” said the minister.