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Media plays key role in representing country's image: Hasan

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BSS, Dhaka :
Terming media as mirror of a society, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said country's mainstream media is trying to play a responsible role in representing the country's image.
"Mass media does not only express opinion, it is a mirror of the society and it plays pivotal role in shaping minds of people and guiding the society in right direction," he told newsmen at 'Meet the Press' organised on Thursday by Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters' Forum (BSRF) at its office at Secretariat in the capital.
Principal Information Officer Surath Kumar Sarker addressed the programme as special guest with BSRF President Tapan Kumar Biswas in the chair. BSRF Secretary Shamim Ahmed conducted it.
Hasan said mass media plays an important role in building the nation.
The minister said people do not have the desire to fulfil their dreams, likewise a hopeless nation do not have the desire to fulfil their hopes.
"The media has the power of showing that dream. Our mainstream media is doing the work. But in some cases, some of the groundbreaking online portals, which are not in mainstream, often creates confusion," he added.
He said the social media is a global reality now. It gives people the opportunity to connect with others and find lost one, and there are about 4 crore people who are using facebook, he added.
He said it is a good side that a person can reach to thousands of people through this social media. "But, it has a bad side too. Most of the confusion and false information is created through social media, this is not only the reality of Bangladesh, but also the whole world," said Hasan, also the Awami League joint general secretary.
Terming the social media as not a news-based media, the minister said many people think that the information given in social media is news. But it is not news, and it is an unedited platform, he added.
For this, he said, laws have been made worldwide including Australia and the United Kingdom to bring it under rules and regulations. "We also made laws to stop the spread of rumours in social media. There were many attempts to spread rumors through social media. But, the mainstream media did not allow it. For this, I would like to thank the mainstream media," he added.
Hasan said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has always taken practical steps in helping the journalists overcome crisis situation. "There was no support for journalists during the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the subcontinent. In India, only those who have died in Corona have been assisted. However, our Prime Minister prudently introduced assistance programs for journalists through the Journalist Welfare Trust to help them overcome crisis," he added.
Replying to a query on online media, the information minister said work is going on for online registration of news portals and permission has already been given in this regard. "After getting reports from different investigation organizations permission will be given to the news portals," he added.
Hasan said it is an ongoing process as many online news portals will come in future also.
About IPTV, the minister said applications were also invited for the IPTV article and primary investigation has already started. The works of giving registration will begin after the investigation, he added.
In this case, it has been decided in the inter-ministerial meeting that IPTVs will initially act as entertainment channels. "When a television channel gets permission, it is not allowed to broadcast news in the beginning. That is why they will have to apply again. The same is also in IPTV," said Hasan.
The Minister assured of considering some of the proposals of BSRF president Tapan Biswas for the welfare of the journalists working in the Secretariat.

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