• Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Editors Council calls for amendment to Digital Security Act

  • Published at 04:10 pm August 24th, 2020
Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The global coronavirus crisis had largely affected the Bangladeshis newspaper industry and it was nearly on the verge of collapse, said the Editors Council

Condemning the recent spate of cases filed against journalists across the country, the Editors Council has demanded that the Digital Security Act, which it said was being widely abused, be amended.

“There is no apparatus to safeguard newspapers and media persons. Amid unfavourable legal circumstances, we feel that it is necessary to amend the Digital Security Act,” it said in a statement on Monday.

It expressed concerns over the recent increase in incidents of journalists being harassed, adding that the Digital Security Act was being used “intentionally” for that purpose.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, journalists are risking their lives reporting from the frontline, the Council said in the statement. 

“But they are working amid various kinds of pressure and threats, which is forcing news organisations and media persons to resort to self-censorship, which in turn hinders the proper functioning of an accountable administration and social system,” it added.

The Editors Council said that it saw no logical reason for newspapers requiring approval from the government for publishing news online.

“Newspapers should be treated like television channels, which need no approval to operate online outlets,” the statement said, adding that this had been agreed upon at a joint meeting of the Information Ministry and stakeholders concerned.

Referring to the recent list of 34 verified online news portals, the Council said that it was “astounding” that the list released by the government did not include any of the online outlets operated by reputable and credible newspapers of the country.

The global coronavirus crisis had largely affected the Bangladeshis newspaper industry and it was nearly on the verge of collapse, said the Editors Council. 

Sales of newspapers as well as the number of advertisements had dropped significantly. Several newspapers in Bangladesh had stopped publishing and moved to an online format, the statement said.

“Newspapers have adopted cost-saving measures, which includes reducing the number of pages and cutting down on administrative expenses. Despite all the odds, we have continued to publish to ensure news for readers,” the statement reads.

Despite being recognized as a service industry, newspapers have never received any “effective help and cooperation” from the government, the Editors Council said.

The statement noted that the Editors Council had always tried to project the critical state of the newspaper industry before the government, but “it is unfortunate that the government did not pay heed” to such concerns.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail