The lack of transparent operational checks and balances is considered the main source of disinformation risk on media sites in Bangladesh, according to a study on 33 news portals in the country.
Out of the news portals analysed in the study titled "Disinformation Risk Assessment: The Online News Market in Bangladesh," 28 sites did not have any accuracy policies on their websites. However, all the sites scored highly in terms of presenting unbiased, neutral, and accurate articles.
Digitally Right has partnered with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) to launch the report which provides insights on the dangers of disinformation in Bangladesh's media industry.
The study, unveiled during an online event on Tuesday, presents GDI's findings on disinformation risks in the media market of Bangladesh, aiming to provide an overview of the market as a whole and its strengths and vulnerabilities.
According to the assessment, all 33 domains were found to have a medium-to-high risk of disseminating disinformation to their users, including well-respected sites known for their independent news coverage.
Sixteen sites had a high disinformation risk rating, and half of the sample had a medium risk rating. However, no site performed so poorly as to earn a maximum risk rating.
The report also highlights operational shortcomings that are hampering trust and transparency in the media industry.
Further reported, most sites lacked policies for editorial checks and balances, including post-publication corrections, comment moderation, by-line information, fact checking, and sourcing, as well as clarity on funding and ownership structures.
The findings also show many of the operational issues afflicting the Bangladeshi websites can easily be fixed by adopting and making transparent universal standards of good journalistic practices as agreed upon by the Journalism Trust Initiative.
Besides, it made recommendations that news sites adopt and make transparent universal standards of good journalistic practices, such as publishing beneficial ownership and funding information, maintaining a corrections policy, publishing bylines policies, and sourcing guidelines.