As it does every year, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Monday celebrated the United Nations declared International Anti-Corruption Day through various programmes at the national and the local levels.
The Moot Court Society of Dhaka University's law department and the TIB jointly organised an event on Monday, which included the presentation of anti-corruption investigative journalism awards, and cartoon contests and exhibitions.
As part of the national programme, a discussion titled "Anti-Corruption Investigative Journalism: Suppressed Mass Media Perspective" took place at 11 am on Monday at the TIB office in Dhanmondi. Sheikh Manzoor-E-Alam, director of TIB's Outreach and Communication Department, presented the keynote paper at the event.
Journalists Afsan Chowdhury and Zulfiqar Ali Manik were present as panellists. Professor Geet Ara Nasrin and Dr Suraiya Begum from the mass communication and journalism department at Dhaka University, MRDI Executive Director Hasibur Rahman, journalists Talat Mamun, Shakil Ahmed, Riaz Ahmed, Rezwanul Haque Raja, Alamgir Swapan and others were also present at the programme.
TIB Ombudsman Prof Dr Syed Manjurul Islam presided over the function.
Speakers at the programme said that practicing journalism is difficult in all countries. The challenge of investigative journalism in particular is far greater because of the risk involved. Journalists have to be professional and ethical, and must be prepared to meet the challenges.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, "As in many other countries, Bangladesh's media is at risk, especially for investigative journalism. Journalists have to survive through this. We must practice professional excellence through transparency, accountability and purity even under pressure. We must not compromise the quality and ethics of journalism."
This year, ten journalists were given the award in different categories. In print media (regional category) , Jashore based daily Dainik Gram's Chief Reporter M Aiyub, senior staff reporter Motahar Hossain and Faisal Islam, special correspondent Dewan Morshed Alam, staff reporter Shapna Debnath, Mina Bishwash, SM Arifuzzaman and Uzzal Bishwash got the prize for the 7-episode serial report on corruption, nepotism, professional negligence in providing allowance to pregnant women.
In print media (national category), Fakhrul Islam Harun, senior reporter at The Daily Prothom Alo, won the first prize for the report titled "Titashe Kg Mepe Ghush Lenden" (Bribe based on weight in Titas).
In the electronic media category, Iqbal Ahsan, senior reporter at Channel 24 won the first prize for his 7-episode serial report titled "Rashtriyo Malikanadhin Sonali Bank er Rin Durnity O Oniom" (Corruption and irregularities in state-owned Sonali Bank).
In the electronic documentary category, the "Anushondhan" team of Masranga television won the award.