Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the media to perform their social responsibilities alongside their business to help build a good society.
“Alongside considering their own profits, the mass media have a responsibility to society. The social responsibility is the most important thing as people watch and hear television and radio programmes for entertainment. So, it’s essential to focus on the matters of learning which will build society and develop people,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the call when directors of the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) met her at the Prime Minister’s Office in the city.
“We want no evil thing to occur in this society…and this society can be taken forward,” she said adding that the media need to play an effective role in flourishing education, literature, culture and sports for the sake of proper development of society.
Sheikh Hasina also asked the media to focus on the issues like food security, food production and education that people need to learn.
Sheikh Hasina said TV viewers are now growing due to the improvement of the socio-economic status of the country’s people.
“Since people are becoming self-reliant economically and attaining financial solvency to buy television, it is being possible to run a good number of television channels in the country,” she said adding that the government has so far given licences to 41 television channels while 30 television channels are now in operation.
The Prime Minister said her government first allowed TV and radio stations to be operated in the private sector to create employment and promote cultural activities.
Seeking greater role of the private sector in the country’s development, the Prime Minister said the government alone cannot do everything. “Every individual, particularly the new generation, must keep in mind that they also have the responsibility for his/her own development as well as society.
“We, people, must have confidence in our own strength and capacity instead of being dependent on the government for the development of the country,” said the Prime Minister.
Focusing her government’s development activities, she said it increased the GDP growth to 7.86 percent and brought down inflation to 5.4 percent. “We’ve been able to reduce the poverty rate from 40 percent to 21 percent as the common people particularly grassroots people are getting benefits of the high GDP growth and low inflation.”
She said her government has been able to reduce the extreme poverty to 11 percent from 22 percent assuming power in 2009. “Our goal is to make poverty-free Bangladesh reducing the poverty rate further.”
The Prime Minister said her government has also targeted the 2041 to build it as a developed one in South Asia.
About militancy and terrorism, Hasina said the militancy and terrorism are now a global problem, but Bangladesh has so far been able to contain the menaces.
ATCO Chairman Salman F Rahman, its Director Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, and Senior Vice Chairmen Mozammel Babu and Nazmul Hasan Papan represented the ATCO delegation.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said the ATCO leaders discussed the Digital Security Act 2018 and expressed their support in favour of the recently passed law.
The ATCO leaders also stressed the need for bringing the online media, particularly the online newspapers and portals, under accountability, he said.
Information Minister Hasanul Has Inu and State Minister for Information Tarana Halim, Principal Secretary at the PMO Md. Nojibur Rahman, Information Secretary Abdul Malek, PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim and Principal Information Officer Kamrun Nahar were present.