Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today hoped that the Mass Media Employees (services conditions) Bill will be placed in the upcoming winter session of the Jatiya Sangsad.
"The law minister has already signed the draft of the Mass Media Employees Bill. I hope we will be able to place the bill in the upcoming winter session of the Jatiya Sangsad. It will be possible to provide legal protection to all journalists of broadcast media, if the bill is passed," he said.
The minister said these, addressing the biennial conference of Chattogram Bibhagh Sangbadik Forum (CBSF), Dhaka at the Jatiya Press Club (JPC) in the city.
Hasan said mass media should praise the good works of the government alongside criticisms. "The government will be criticised . . . There would be criticisms if any responsible person makes a mistake. But the criticism should not be like that which will create the possibility of seizing power by those who patronise the communal evil forces. For this, we should remain alert," he added.
The minister said there was a demand on behalf of journalists to determine the eligibility and criteria to become a journalist. "I personally think that it is not appropriate to determine any degree here. In many cases, a journalist with SSC writes wells compared to master's degree holders. But now anyone is showing their identities as a journalist and number of fake journalists is much higher than the real ones at upazila levels. I asked the Press Council to make criteria to bring discipline in this regard," he added.
He said it was mentioned in the Wage Board that group insurance for journalists and employees will have to be made in every media house. But it did not happen, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said the journalists' organisations can work on this issue. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has formed the welfare trust for the journalists and the family members get Tk3 lakh if any journalist dies, he added.
DBC24 channel Chairman Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, BFUJ former President Manzurul Ahsan Bulbul, the Daily Jugantar Editor Saiful Alam, DRU former President Shahjahan Sardar, JPC Treasurer Shahed Chowdhury and BFUJ executive committee Member Ummul Wara Sweety, among others, addressed the programme with CBSF acting President Md Mostafa Kamal in the chair.
CBSF Secretary General Shahin Ul Islam Chowdhury gave welcome address while journalist Ayub Bhuiyan conducted the programme.
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Chief News Editor Samir Kanti Barua and other journalists Gias Uddin, Motahar Hossain, Sajjad Hossain, Tarun Tapan Chakrabarty and Khurshid Alam, among others, also spoke in the programme.