Dhaka, April 30: Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today urged the newspapers’ authorities to publish positive and inspirational news items to help people keep their morale strong during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.“Expectance drives people to move towards the future and helps them remain strong in their struggle for life. That’s why I will request the newspapers to publish such news items, which keep people’s hopes alive and will inform them that a sunny day is coming after the darkness,” he said.
Hasan, also AL joint general secretary, was speaking at a view-exchange meeting with the representatives of Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) at the meeting room of the Information Ministry here, a ministry press release said.
Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar, NOAB president AK Azad and its members Matiur Rahman, Mahfuz Anam, Tarik Sujat, Shah Hossain Imam, Naem Nizam, Altamash Kabir Mishu and Saiful Alam were present.
The information minister said publishing positive news is an urgent now as the panicked people are very worried about their future.
He said the government and the newspapers should work more closely as the aim of both is the same – to move the nation forward. “And that’s why we will work together to this end,” he added.
NOAB president AK Azad requested the Information Ministry to pay soon the bills of government supplements and advertisements published in different newspapers on different occasions.
He also demanded bank loans for the newspapers and stimulus for newspapers hawkers, workers and agents.
About the demands of NOAB, Hasan said the Cabinet Division has already sent letters to different ministries, asking to pay the advertisement bills of different government departments and agencies.
“We will talk to Bangladesh Bank regarding the bank loan for newspapers. To me, newspapers is a service sector. As an industry, you (newspapers) get some facilities from the Industries Ministry. As a service sector, I think, there are facilities here too,” he added.
Later, the information minister held a meeting with the representatives of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).
During the meeting, DRU president Rafiqul Islam Aazd, general secretary Reaz Choudhury and executive member Motahar Hossain sought financial assistance from the government for the family of journalist Humayun Kabir Khokan, who died of COVID-19.
They also urged the government to provide treatment to the journalists infected with coronavirus and government assistance for the DRU members.