Prominent Bangla newspaper the daily Ittefaq in association with Media Studies and Journalism (MSJ) department at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organized a public discussion on “Excellence in Journalism” at ULAB on December 5, 2018. Marking the 66th founding anniversary of Ittefaq, the daily had been organizing event partnering with different educational institutions.
At the outset, hosts gave an insight into the journey of Ittefaq and vast contributions of Manik Miah, founding editor of Ittefaq, to journalism. After that, an insightful video was screened showcasing the history of Ittefaq. Next, Tareen Hossain, executive director of the daily Ittefaq and editor of Ittefaq Online, delivered speech on behalf of the Ittefaq, further mentioning about the significant contribution of Manik Miah and Ittefaq in the country’s liberation war. She talked about how ethical and responsible daily Ittefaq has always been. She said, “Now people not only want to read the news, they want to see the news, hear the news and live the news.” Afterwards, the Vice Chancellor of ULAB, Professor Dr Jahirul Huq, gave a speech where he spoke about the contribution of journalism in the development of the country. He concluded by warning everyone to avoid cheap and fake news.
The guests present in the public discussion included: Mustafiz Shafi, acting editor of the daily Samakal; Tushar Abdullah, head of news of SomoyTV; Andalib Rashdi, writer and critic; Salimullah Khan, critic and public intellectual; and Afsan Chowdhury, journalist and researcher. Mustafiz Shafi talked about journalists and their responsibilities while Afsan Chowdhury explained how the government has been handling the media by imposing different laws. Andalib Rashdi elaborated on the youth election manifesto, whereas Salimullah Khan covered various important aspects about journalism and pointed out how some newspapers are often reluctant to show full truth in news coverage. Tushar Abdullah talked about how tough it is to be a journalist in Bangladesh.
After the discussion ended, students asked questions pertaining to debates and issues involving the country’s journalism. The program ended with a speech by Dr Jude William Genilo, head of MSJ. He spoke about the rich and advanced curriculum of journalism at ULAB. “We always monitor what the industry needs”, he added. Two MSJ students — Zareen Islam and Mahee Azreen – hosted the entire event.