In the age of social media, citizens are not safe from the risks that affect journalists, and there is no alternative to developing awareness and technological skills for everyone to keep up with the changing times, speakers at a programme here said on Wednesday.
They made the remarks at a function arranged marking the launch of an online course on media law, media ethics, and digital rights and safety.
UK-based rights body Article 19 and German leading media development organization DW Akademie launched the platform as part of a project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
A research publication on journalism education in Bangladesh was also launched at the event, along with presentations of six projects developed for tech-based solutions to journalism and media issues.
Speaking at the programme, Faruq Faisel, Regional Director Bangladesh and South Asia for Article 19, said, “In this age of social media, the difference between journalists and non-journalists have been blurred. Police can arrest me for posting a status update on Facebook.”
Referring to the recently-passed Digital Security Act, he said apart from journalists, rights activists and bloggers must also be aware of their digital rights and laws.
The 10-week online course is divided into three parts — digital rights and safety, media laws and media ethics. Anyone can take the course free of cost, using their computers or even smartphones.
The course will be offered starting mid-February on https://www.banglatutorial-media.org.
Upon completion of the course, the participants will get certification from DW Akademie and Article 19.
Dr Asif Nazrul helped design the course, said a press release.
DW Akademie Country Manager for Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan Priya Esselborn said there is a gap between journalism education and practice in the country.
Journalism is changing fast with the progress of technology, she said, adding that the media and journalists both have to adapt themselves to these changes, she added.
Among others, Janina Islam Abir, a lecturer at the media and communications department of Independent University, Bangladesh; and Ines Dworschack-Borg, political attaché of the German Embassy in Dhaka, also spoke.
At the programme, a research study on “Journalism education in Bangladesh: From aspiring journalists to career professionals” was also launched at the event.
Conducted by Prof Jude William Jenilo, Fahmidul Haq and Shameem Mahmud, it looks into the university-level education of journalism, career path of fresh graduates and various aspects of leading media outlets of the country.
Speaking at the event, Prof Jude Genilo, head of the mass communication and journalism department at University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh, said journalism education at university level is expanding, while the media industry is also becoming bigger.
He stressed creating a connection between the two.