Journalists and journalist rights activists on Wednesday said reporters should focus on better documentation while reporting to avoid harassments.
They expressed their views at a virtual discussion organised by the EMK Center marking World Press Freedom Day, said a press release.
"Only in April 2021, 13 cases were filed against 24 journalists of Bangladesh and of them 4 cases were under digital security act. At least 3 journalists were arrested and 46 incidents of attacks on journalists were documented by Our Media, Our Rights," said Ahammad Foyez, the chief coordinator of "Our Media, Our Rights".
While discussing the reasons behind the harassment of journalists, Ahammad Foyez claimed the divisive politics among the journalist community often restraints them to take a strong position against the harassments of journalists.
Md Ariful Islam Rigan, a local journalist from Kurigram who was subjected to harassment by government officials last year that escalated a nationwide protest, claimed that after the incident he has been facing difficulties to collect news stories because of self-censorship among local government officials.
"I had to file applications for two stories under the right to information act, and even had to file appeal once. But by the time I got the information, the story became obsolete," he added.
Prothom Alo's senior staff correspondent Rozina Islam opined that for investigative journalism, journalists should look for new strategies, work harder and should expand their network. She shared her experience of collecting stories of different corruption and how she gathered evidence and documents to build the story.
"Responsible journalism often depends on how supportive the editor and team are," she added.
"I have read Bangladeshi newspapers of last 50 years and I feel our journalists are more responsible now," commented Shafiqul Alam, AFP Bureau Chief of Dhaka. Emphasising ensuring the credibility of reports, he said, "Journalists should always report based on evidence, not based on hearsay."
The event was moderated by Md Muktadir Rashid, senior staff correspondent of the New Age.