Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said the government and media will work together to cope with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
"The government and media will work together to tackle the coronavirus crisis… At the same time, today we discussed the media's internal problems emerging from the current crisis," he told reports after a meeting with media owners and editors.
Leaders of Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (NOAB), the Editors Guild, Bangladesh, the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) and the Editors Council took part in the meeting at the minister's Minto Road residence here.
Editors' Council president Mahfuz Anam, its general secretary Naem Nizam, ATCO senior vice president Mozammel Babu, its member Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, NOAB president AK Azad and it's executive members Motiur Rahman and Tarique Sujat were, among others, present at the meeting.
Hasan, also the Awami League joint general secretary, said various rumours are being disseminated in the country over the COVID-19, while some online news portals are creating panic among the people by releasing fake news items.
Noting that the country's mainstream media are playing a vital role against rumours, he said: "The government is taking actions against the rumour creators. We have sought cooperation from the mainstream media to this end."
"This time, people should not be panicked but they should be made aware (of coronavirus). Today, we discussed what the government should do at this moment. We have decided to work together," he added.
The information minister said various problems have been created in newspapers and television channels during the ongoing crisis period, while circulations of many newspapers drastically declined.
Newspaper workers and hawkers are now in trouble and the TV channels are also facing the same situation, he said, adding that they discussed these problems in today's meeting.