Editors’ Council expresses concern, protests BPSA’s statement

Editors’ Council logo

The Editors’ Council, an organisation of newspaper editors, has expressed grave concern and protested the statement of the Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA) on journalism.

The council considers the statement of the police service association as an expression of indecent and irrational behaviour towards independent media and unbiased journalism.

This was said in a statement signed by the Editors’ Council president and editor of The Daily Star, Mahfuz Anam, and general secretary and Bonik Barta editor, Dewan Hanif Mahmud Sunday.

The statement said several reports have been published in different media recently about the unusual assets of former and current high and low ranking police members of the country. The police service association has written a letter to the editors of all media outlets in the country expressing concern about this, which was later published in the form of news in various media outlets.

The letter sent by the police service association concluded with a request to refrain from publishing such confusing reports in the interest of public safety and public order.

The letter also requested to exercise more caution and follow journalistic principles properly in publishing any kind of report about Bangladesh Police force in future.

The statement of the Editors’ Council said the media carries assessments of the good deeds of the police in the form of reports. At the same time, the media professionally investigates and discloses information of acquiring wealth through abuse of power, which is not consistent with known sources of income, while serving in a responsible position in the government. The relevant government agencies are also investigating these issues.

The Editors’ Council thinks that the Bangladesh Police Service Association is expressing the practice of trading blame through a blanket protest letter in the context of the recently published news reports. The statement by the police service association through the protest is an expression of indecent, irrational and irresponsible behaviour towards independent media and unbiased journalistic practices.

The statement of the Editors’ Council further said if there is any doubt about the sense of responsibilities of those who published those news reports, anyone can approach the Press Council by following the proper rules and regulations. Instead of that the media has been threatened in the form of mutual blaming through protest and requests to maintain greater vigilance in the future before publishing any report about the police. This is contrary to the independent media and unbiased practices of journalism.

The Editors’ Council also expected the cooperation of the police force in the continuous efforts of the media workers to implement the government’s policy against corruption in the future.