Make draft of amended press council act public: TIB

Prothom Alo illustration

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) called upon the Press Council to make the amended draft of Bangladesh Press Council Act public.

Along with that, TIB recommended taking the opinion of all concerned, including the media and its professionals, about the amendment.

Citing the report in the media, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said, "Making an amended draft public and taking opinion from the stakeholders is prerequisite for a fair democracy. We are observing that an initiative to strengthen the press council by amending the existing act has been underway for long. But the press council has shown their unwillingness to provide the unpublished draft to the stakeholders, particularly to the editors' council and different journalists unions."

TIB director said media and its professionals, freedom, free media and its ethics are inextricably related to this act. Therefore, it is imperative to take opinions from stakeholders at every level and coordinate those.

He claimed "With ignoring the existing practice, a precedence of arbitrariness has been created through practicing such secrecy in the process of law formulation and amendment. Along with that it is logical to raise a question if the press council is resorting to secrecy to control the media in lieu of protecting the rights of media and the journalists."

"We hope the press council will make the draft public in an effort to manifest their respect to the country’s existing practice," Iftekharuzzaman said.