Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government promotes freedom of the press with a view to building a 'debate-based' society.
"Objective journalism is a must to build a debate-based society. We can make united efforts to this end," he told the launching ceremony of a commemorative book titled 'Swapner Sarathi Shah Alamgir' at Jatiya Press Club auditorium here.
Dhaka University former Vice-Chancellor Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique chaired the function while columnist Sohrab Hasan, Jatiya Press Club President and daily Jugantor Editor Saiful Alam, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) former President Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Jatiya Press Club Senior Vice-President Omar Faruque, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) newly elected President Kuddus Afrad and late journalist and director general of Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) Shah Alamgir's wife Fouzia Begum Maya, among others, addressed it.
Dr Hasan, also Awami League Joint General Secretary, said it is the duty of all concerned to make united efforts to enhance the standard of journalism.
He said though the country has witnessed a massive expansion of media, the current trend of engaging in ill competition while presenting the latest news in a hurry is reducing the standard of news.
Dr Hasan said sometimes it has not been possible to maintain objectivity because of such 'competition'.
He said PIB as well as Press Council has been asked to arrange necessary workshops to raise consciousness in this regard.
Asked about the progress of the registration process of online portals, the minister said the government is working to register online outlets after March 17 and in the first phase, established portals will be registered. He hoped that registration will help bring discipline in online news portals.
Paying glowing tributes to Shah Alamgir, the minister said he was a journalist of high stature and a good soul.
"Shah Alamgir never wanted publicity. His behavior and skills fascinated me always," he added.