- Media of Bangladesh
The media of Bangladesh refers to the print, broadcast and online mass media available in Bangladesh. The Constitution guarantees press freedom and freedom of expression within "reasonable restriction", though some media outlets have been harassed. The Bangladeshi media is ranked at 136th out of 173 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, with 1st being most free.
The media in Bangladesh is a mix of government-owned and private media. There are still criminal penalties for libel, defamation and sedition as well as reporting on national security issues. Reporters can be held for up to 90 days without trial under the 1974 Special Powers Act. Media restrictions have usually increased during periods of political turmoil. Reporters Without Borders has accused the army of targeting journalists and enforcing censorship.
The print media is private and consists of hundreds of weekly publications, presenting a vast array of viewpoints, though some outspoken papers have faced pressure in the past. English language papers appeal to an educated urban readership.
Television and radio
Television is the biggest medium for news in Bangladesh. There were 15 television stations in 1999. In 2006, there were 15AM and 13FM radio stations available. The BBC World Service broadcasts in the country, and Indian and other foreign television broadcasts are picked up in the country.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), NGO Network in Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC in considers community radio a special area for intervention. BNNRC has been promoting advocacy with the government in relation to community radio with other organizations since its emergence from 2000.
The objective of BNNRC's Community Radio intervention is to address crucial social issues at community level, such as poverty and social exclusion, empower marginalized rural groups and catalyze democratic processes and on going development efforts.
The prime role of community radio is giving voice to the voiceless people who do not have access to the mainstream media to express their ideas and views regarding community development. Promoting the right to communicate, speed up the process of informing the community, assist the free flow of information and therefore act as a catalyst of change are few major tasks are to be done by community radio. It will also uphold creative growth and democratic spirit in the community level.
As a result the Ministry of Information of People's Republic of Bangladesh has announced the Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy 2008. Under this policy Ministry of Information has recently [22 April 2020] approved 14 Community Radio station for installation, broadcast and operation first time in Bangladesh. To ensure free flow of information and people's right to information government enacted Right to Information Act 2009. Community Radio approval is a strong step to empower rural people in this regard.
Initially government approved 14 Initiators like Young Power in Action(YPSA) for Sitakunda, Chittagong, Nalta Community Hospital for Satkhira, LDRO for Bogra, BRAC for- Moulivi Bazer, Barandro Community Radio for -Naogaon, Proyas for -Chapai Nababgonj, CCD for - Rajshahi, Srizoni for - Jhinaidhah, EC Bangladesh for - Munsihigonj, MMC for - Barguna and RDRS for- Kurigram, Sundarban Community Radio for Koyra(Khulna), ACLAB for - Telnaf (Cox's Bazer) and Agriculture Information Servics(AIS) for - Community Rural Radio for Amtoli (Barguna)
BNNRC provided technical assistance to around 200 organizations in the community radio application process through a National Help Desk on Community Radio in BNNRC Secretariat in Dhaka. Through this experience, a pro active institution should be activated to create necessary human resource, research and development and technical cooperation for Community Radio in Bangladesh. In this backdrop, BNNRC has established Community Radio Academy (CRA). The Academy will organize community radio related training, research, technical assistance and other support round the year to Community Radio Initiators.
Community radio is considered an alternative, effective mass media for the rural disadvantaged population to express their thoughts in their own voice using their own style. Country's first community radio is Rajshahi districy based, its name is radio Padma.
Media Information and Communication Centre of Bangladesh (MICCB) is a non-profit organization created by leading academicians, journalists and social activists. Ariful Islam Arman, a young journalist with more than 8 years of experience is the founding Director of MICCB. MICCB uses media for social development by organizing a series of seminars, workshops and training program on contemporary issues like RTI, Community Radio, Rural Journalism, Online Journalism, Media Ethics and problems faced by journalists. It also publishes books and research material.
Media Information and Communication Centre of Bangladesh (MICCB) Sovereign
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