Posts Tagged ‘media freedom


Testing Time for Bangladeshi Media


Published in Himal SouthAsian (June 2007)

Bangladeshis have been looking to the press for leadership in a time of military rule, but the journalists have allowed themselves to be bullied by populism and cowed by fear of authority.

On 11 January, Bangladesh’s interim government announced a state of emergency, and a censorship regime was imposed on the country’s media. The following day, the editor of the English-language The Daily Star, Mahfuz Anam, declared: “We believe this move to be against the interest of democracy and of Bangladesh. Just as mistakes after mistakes have brought us to this stage of political crisis, the decision of gagging the press is nothing but a continuation of those mistaken decisions.” A few days later, Anam wrote an angry editorial about receiving a phone call from an unknown caller giving him “press advice”. He promised that his paper would never abdicate its responsibility under such pressure.

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