The government is reporter-friendly and one isolated incident should not weaken the relations between the two parties, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud has said, referring to Prothom Alo Senior Reporter Rozina Islam's recent imprisonment and release.
Journalists do the herculean task of providing important information to people and they have to face different challenges while doing investigative journalism, he said while addressing the programme held to mark the 26th founding anniversary of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) at its auditorium on Wednesday.
He said yellow journalism is another challenge that reporters currently face.
Such reporters collect identity cards, show those in different places, and work for illegal gains, he said.
He also said discipline is needed in this sector, and reporters' organisations have to work along with the government in this regard.
Journalists have to talk about the unprivileged people who do not have the courage or power to express themselves, Hasan said.
Speaking about press freedom, he said the press is one of the pillars of the country. "We always want press freedom and work for it."
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rejaul Karim echoed him, saying the government does not want any crack in its relations with reporters.
He also emphasised the unity of all reporters in the country, "A split will not bring anything good for the country and the nation."
Among others, Deputy Minister of the water resources ministry Enamul Haque Shamim, the prime minister's former media advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, and National Press Club President Farida Yasmin also spoke at the programme chaired by DRU President Mursalin Nomani.
The speakers urged journalists to be more united and work together to overcome all kinds of challenges. They also urged them to be strong enough to keep press freedom intact.
DRU was established on 26 May 1995 with the aim of professional development as well as maintaining the rights and dignity of reporters. The anniversary programme started in the morning by hoisting the national flag.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir attended the event among others.