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About free media and freedom of speech

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09th-May-2019       
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Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzamn Mia has said applying censorship on news media is illogical; however journalists need self-censorship. He made the statements while speaking as the chief guest at a workshop titled- 'reporting on terrorism'- jointly organized by Bangladesh Crime Reporters Association and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit in the city on Monday.
 "How many pictures of victims' dead bodies had been published by the Sri Lankan newspapers after terror attacks there? They (Sri Lankan journalists) had given more importance to the country's interest than the other things. The condition of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is almost similar, and so, we need self-censorship in all national issues, including terrorism. It is the time to think about it especially, in the case of live telecast by television channels," the DMP chief said.  
 Elaborating the success of Bangladeshi security agencies in curbing terrorism, he also said: "Though Information Ministry and Home Ministry say about news censorship, it is not possible to gag the media. We know, everything cannot be controlled by enacting laws. The consequence of gagging media was never good. What the advanced countries failed to do; we have successfully done it - that is eliminating the terrorism. And it was done with the help of our media. Media had played a great role to create awareness among the common people about the terrorists."
 The DMP chief's remarks regarding the importance of free media are worth noting especially when such remarks have come from a high police officer. What we find very important is his view against gagging the press. As he said it is no good to hide news. He also emphasised self- censorship by the journalists. Every journalist knows that the press freedom is not a licence to write anything. The profession of journalism is a responsible profession. No newspaper can survive with lies. Everybody holding public office should not all the time tanner his public accountability to be honest to his responsibility.  Most of them, if not all, forget that the people have a right to know about their activities.  No journalist or newspaper will deny publication of a rejoinder.
The question is we do not have press freedom and anytime any journalist or a writer can be threatened or put under fear. Any freedom has to free from fear. The black laws are there and no law is necessary. The fear is worse than physical censorship. It is forgotten that the press freedom is the people's freedom of speech.

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Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzamn Mia has said applying censorship on news media is illogical; however journalists need self-censorship. He made the statements while speaking as the chief guest at a workshop titled- 'reporting on terrorism'- jointly organized by Bangladesh Crime Reporters Association and Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit ...

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