Every morning, numerous newspapers enter our homes beneath our doors – like sibilating snakes. But, no fear! They are not like venomous snakes. They are neither venomous nor hazardous, merely non-noxious water snakes. Despite having no ability to inject venom or even the power to bite, they possess the haughtiness of neutralism and camouflage of innocence. They are shy to bite because piercing someone may unveil their demonic nature. If not, they at least fear being labeled part of a group or ideology. It becomes tricky to identify the real limbs as all of the visages remain wrapped in a newspaper.
Will "The Business Standard" be able to contain venoms in its throat and raise its voice? Will it be able to blow up derisory neutralism as a duck effuses water by flapping its wings? Will it be able to pierce the veils of sarcasm to unearth the truth? Will it be able to influence or to reconstruct a liberal, secular, scientific, environmentally-friendly and gender-sensitive society? Will it be able to enforce a rigorous journalistic practice against: crime and corruption, land encroachment, share market scams, limitless obliquity in the banking sector, bankruptcy, the looting billions of public money in the name of MLM business, and bank robbery? Will it undermine the pressure of corporate houses paying for advertisements? Alas! A newspaper itself loves to be overwhelmed with corporate slavery now-a-days in our society. So, here come the questions, how will it withstand pressure?
Like "Alice in Wonderland" we have to start from the beginning. A small but vital social institution is our family, so, the cultivation of a democratic culture and values should be divulged from this ancient institute. A newspaper not only plays a dominant role in the formation of democratic culture and decent tastes in a family, rather it influences the linguistic structure of readers and audiences.
Does "The Business Standard" have sophisticated ideas and far-reaching planning to influence these sectors? Will it be able to cover investigative and interpretative reports on emerging entrepreneurs and E-commerce with a focus on the role of the Bangladeshi market in global business? Would it be able to facilitate establishing a linkage between Bangladesh and the global market in the area of emerging thrust sectors? We are eagerly waiting to see how it materializes – a business-oriented Bangladesh where the general public would participate triumphantly. We want to see how it uniquely brands itself by adhering to ethical journalistic practices. We hope, bearing a new standard of business journalism upon its shoulder, "The Business Standard" will reach the highest peak of success for Bangladesh's business journalism.
Newspapers are generally published in frigid grizzled letters. Would "The Business Standard" be able to transform those letters into vivid ones with the touch of life and love? Would it be possible to create an image of distinct personality through the use of words and sentences? A newspaper cannot avoid the responsibility of consolidating the economic base of a state, creating a business-friendly environment and reducing poverty. All these are really challenging!
Difficulties are apparent when an owner of a newspaper and editor are seen bargaining over profits and benefits, as well as losses and gains. I suppose an editor dies in that situation! When a concord takes place between an editor and an owner, editors no longer have something to offer an audience. Thus, professionalism narrows. How will "The Business Standard" be able to deal with this? This is the question – an issue of importance.
What form will "The Business Standard" adopt and how will it be perceived? Should I assume it will promote the voice of this era? Is it possible? Why hesitate? Apprehension arises when the question of an unwritten and invisible agreement of so-called mutual growth and benefits arises between an owner and an editor. Will "The Business Standard" be able to end that? Is there any editor who would be venturous enough to inject venom into the corruption, land robbery and debt default of his owner? With uncounted dilemmas in mind, we are eagerly waiting to see what the daily does.
Robaet Ferdous, is a professor of Mass Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Dhaka. He can be reached at [email protected]