Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has started addressing a press conference on the outcome of her recent three-nation visit to Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom from April 25 to May 09, 2023. The press conference began at 4:05pm on Monday at her official residence Ganabhaban here. On April 25, Hasina left Dhaka for Tokyo on a four-day official visit to Japan on the first leg of her three-nation visit at the invitation of her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida. Also Read: PM Hasina: Climate-induced disasters may disrupt Bangladesh’s smooth LDC graduation During her stay in Tokyo, the Bangladesh PM met Emperor of Japan Naruhito, held summit meeting with her Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio. She and her Japanese counterpart witnessed the exchange of eight instruments, mostly memorandums of cooperation signed between Dhaka and Tokyo to boost cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, metro-rail, industrial up-gradation, ship-recycling, customs matters, intellectual property, defense, ICT and cyber security. She also attended an investment summit and a community reception as well as handed over the “Friends of Liberation War Honour” to two Japanese nationals for their special contribution to the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Also Read: Bangladesh's next general election will be fair, PM Hasina tells UK Besides, Hasina held meetings separately with Foreign Minister of Japan Yoshimasa Hayashi, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Dr Tanaka Akihiko, Chairman of Japan-Bangladesh Committee for Commercial & Economic Cooperation (JBCCEC) Fumiya Kokubu, Chairman and CEO of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Ishiguro Norihiko and President of Japan-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship League (JBPFL) Taro Aso. On April 28, the PM left Tokyo for Washington DC on a six-day official visit to the USA on the second leg of her three-nation tour in a bid to attend the celebration of the 50 years of partnership between the World Bank and Bangladesh. Also Read: PM Hasina off to Tokyo on first leg of a two-week official visit to Japan, USA and UK She attended a seminar titled "Reflection on 50 years of Bangladesh-World Bank Partnership" organized at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington DC, USA on May 1. In Washington DC, Sheikh Hasina also had meetings separately with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and President and CEO of US Chamber of Commerce Suzanne P. Clark. Besides, she attended a high-level executive roundtable with the US business delegation and a community reception. On May 04, the premier left Washington DC for London on a five-day official visit to the UK to attend the coronation of UK's King Charles III, hosted by Buckingham Palace on May 06. Read More: PM attends coronation of King Charles III In London, Hasina had interaction with King Charles III, and held a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Also Read: PM Hasina reaches Tokyo to begin four-day official visit to Japan She also attended the Commonwealth Leaders Event, the King's reception for heads of states, governments and overseas representatives at Buckingham Palace in advance of the coronation of the King and the Queen Consort, and a community reception. She had a meeting with and Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema there. Also Read: PM returns home after 15-day foreign visit Besides, PM Hasina had interactions with Presidents of Egypt and Rwanda, Prime Ministers of Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Gambia, Namibia and Uganda in the coronation programme of King Charles III. Sheikh Hasina returned home on May 09.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address a press conference Monday afternoon on the outcome of her recent official tour of Qatar. The conference will start at 4:30pm at her official residence Ganabhaban, Press Secretary to Prime Minister Ihsanul Karim said. Read: PM inaugurates 73 dev works, lays foundation stones of 30 more in Mymensingh PM Hasina returned home on Thursday afternoon after wrapping up her official visit to Qatar. Earlier on March 4, Sheikh Hasina went to Doha to attend the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5). During her stay in Qatar, she attended the LDC5 conference, several side-line events and a civic reception.
Elon Musk's abrupt suspension of several journalists who cover Twitter widens a growing rift between the social media site and media organizations that have used the platform to build their audiences. Individual reporters with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America and other news agencies saw their accounts go dark Thursday. Musk tweeted late Friday that the company would lift the suspensions following the results of a public poll on the site. The poll showed 58.7% of respondents favored a move to immediately unsuspend accounts over 41.3% who said the suspensions should be lifted in seven days. The company has not explained why the accounts were taken down. But Musk took to Twitter on Thursday night to accuse journalists of sharing private information about his whereabouts, which he described as “basically assassination coordinates.” He provided no evidence for that claim. Many advertisers abandoned Twitter over content moderation questions after Musk acquired it in October, and he now risks a rupture with media organizations, which are among the most active on the platform. Most of the accounts were back early Saturday. One exception was Business Insider's Linette Lopez, who was suspended after the other journalists, also with no explanation, she told The Associated Press. Lopez published a series of articles between 2018 and 2021 highlighting what she called dangerous Tesla manufacturing shortcomings. Shortly before being suspended, she said she had posted court-related documents to Twitter that included a 2018 Musk email address. That address is not current, Lopez said, because “he changes his email every few weeks." On Tuesday, she posted a 2019 story about Tesla troubles, commenting, “Now, just like then, most of @elonmusk’s wounds are self inflicted.” The same day, she cited reports that Musk was reneging on severance for laid-off Twitter employees, threatening workers who talk to the media and refusing to make rent payments. Lopez described his actions as “classic Elon-going-for-broke behavior.” Steve Herman, a national correspondent for Voice of America, told The Associated Press that his suspended Twitter account still hadn't been fully restored as of Saturday afternoon because of his refusal to delete three tweets that the company flagged for purportedly sharing Musk's whereabouts. Although Herman's Twitter timeline is now visible to most users, he said he can't see it himself nor can he post anything new until he removes the tweets that the company contends violate its revised terms of service. “I am in a new level of purgatory," Herman said. “I do not believe anything I have tweeted violated any reasonable standard of any social media platform." Read more: Twitter suspends journalists who wrote about owner Elon Musk Alarm over the suspensions extended beyond media circles to the United Nations, which was reconsidering its involvement in Twitter. The move sets “a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats and even worse," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The reporters' suspensions followed Musk’s decision Wednesday to permanently ban an account that automatically tracked the flights of his private jet using publicly available data. That also led Twitter to change its rules for all users to prohibit the sharing of another person’s current location without their consent. Several of the reporters suspended Thursday night had been writing about the new policy and Musk's rationale for imposing it, which involved his allegations about a stalking incident he said affected his family Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The official Twitter account for Mastodon, a decentralized alternative social network where many Twitter users are fleeing, was also banned. The reason was unclear, though it had tweeted about the jet-tracking account. Twitter also began preventing users from posting links to Mastodon accounts, in some cases flagging them as potential malware. “This is of course a bald-faced lie,” cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs posted. Explaining the reporter bans, Musk tweeted, “Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else." He later added: “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.” " Doxxing ” refers to disclosing someone’s identity, address, phone number or other personal details that violate their privacy and could bring harm. The Washington Post’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said technology reporter Drew Harwell “was banished without warning, process or explanation” following the publication of accurate reporting about Musk. CNN said in a statement that “the impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising.” “Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter,” the statement added. Another suspended journalist, Matt Binder of the technology news outlet Mashable, said he was banned Thursday night immediately after sharing a screenshot that O’Sullivan had posted before his own suspension. The screenshot showed a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department sent earlier Thursday to multiple media outlets, including the AP, about how it was in touch with Musk's representatives about the alleged stalking incident. Binder said he did not share any location data or any links to the jet-tracking account or other location-tracking accounts. “I have been highly critical of Musk but never broke any of Twitter’s listed policies,” Binder said in an email. The suspensions come as Musk makes major changes to content moderation on Twitter. He has tried, through the release of selected company documents dubbed “The Twitter Files,” to claim the platform suppressed right-wing voices under its previous leaders. Read more: Elon Musk sells $3.58B worth of Tesla stock, purpose unknown He has promised to let free speech reign and has reinstated high-profile accounts that previously broke Twitter's rules against hateful conduct or harmful misinformation. He has also said he would suppress negativity and hate by depriving some accounts of “freedom of reach.” Opinion columnist Bari Weiss, who tweeted out some of “The Twitter Files,” called for the suspended journalists to be reinstated. “The old regime at Twitter governed by its own whims and biases and it sure looks like the new regime has the same problem,” she tweeted “I oppose it in both cases.” If the suspensions lead to the exodus of media organizations that are highly active on Twitter, the platform would be changed at the fundamental level, said Lou Paskalis, longtime marketing and media executive and former Bank of America head of global media. CBS briefly shut down its activity on Twitter in November due to “uncertainty” about new management, but media organizations have largely remained on the platform. “We all know news breaks on Twitter ... and to now go after journalists really saws at the main foundational tent pole of Twitter,” Paskalis said. “Driving journalists off Twitter is the biggest self-inflicted wound I can think of.” The suspensions may be the biggest red flag yet for advertisers, Paskalis said, some of which had already cut their spending on Twitter over uncertainty about the direction Musk is taking the platform. “It is an overt demonstration of what advertisers fear the most — retribution for an action that Elon doesn’t agree with," he added. On Thursday night, Twitter's Spaces conference chat went down shortly after Musk abruptly signed out of a session hosted by a journalist during which he had been questioned about the reporters' ousting. Musk later tweeted that Spaces had been taken offline to deal with a “Legacy bug.” Late Friday, Spaces returned. Advertisers are also monitoring the potential loss of Twitter users. Twitter is projected to lose 32 million users over the next two years, according to a forecast by Insider Intelligence, which cited technical issues and the return of accounts banned for offensive posts. Meanwhile, some Twitter alternatives are gaining momentum. Mastodon on Friday had more than 6 million users, nearly double the 3.4 million it had on the day Musk took ownership of Twitter. On many of the thousands of confederated networks in the open-source Mastodon platform, administrators and users solicited donations as disaffected Twitter users strained computing resources. Many of the networks, known as “instances,” are crowd-funded. The platform is designed to be ad-free.
Shedding the spotlight on freedom of expression and media in Bangladesh, Drik Picture Library organised a special talk session on Wednesday in the capital's Panthapath. Historian, researcher and UNB and Dhaka Courier Editor-at-Large Afsan Chowdhury joined this conversation alongside globally renowned photojournalist and Drik Managing Director Shahidul Alam at 5:30pm at Drikpath Bhaban. The conversation addressed major roadblocks to freedom of media in Bangladesh through the narratives of two of the eminent media personalities in the country. "In Bangladesh, there isn't any freedom of speech. The ideology that we are independent is a fundamental misconception in this country. We do not have control over the circumstances we are in," Shahidul said. About the Digital Security Act (DSA), he said, "We objected to the rules included in the Digital Security Act, as it was the replacement of the ICT Act 2006's abolished provisions. The law minister who oversaw the creation of this act is no longer in office." "The then-law minister stated about this bill that if a lawsuit was brought against a journalist under this statute, he would defend the journalist himself. No one doesn't even recall that clause anymore, as he is no longer a minister." Read more: Media pursues diplomats to speak on Bangladesh’s internal affairs: Momen "People mistakenly believe that Bangladesh has free media, but that is inaccurate," Afsan said. "The structural limitations of Bangladesh restrict media freedom." "The government implements the DSA nowadays mostly because of Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world. For the administration, such a sizable social media platform is extremely concerning." "Facebook is the mass media now, and also the most popular platform where everyone is a journalist. The majority of media outlets in Bangladesh were founded by their owners because they needed to make money. That demand must be dropped to obtain and practice the freedom of media, but no one wants to take that chance." "So if the journalists want to practice journalism on their own, they must do it alone because the organisations cannot assist them. We now need to consider how to properly express our opinions on social media, while ensuring freedom of speech at the same time," Afsan said. Read more: Responsible, credible media hold all parties to account: Gwyn Lewis
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Tuesday said the mass media is currently working completely independently as there is no control exercised over the media. The Home Minister came up with the remark while addressing a function on DRU Best Reporting Award-2022 at Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Segunbagicha in the city organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Tuesday afternoon. In his speech, the Home Minister said that as the number of daily newspapers has increased, the number of electronic media has also increased. Earlier, when writing news, there were various types of censorships, but now there is no such thing, he said. "There is no control over the mass media. They are currently working completely independently," the Home Minister said. The minister said that there are roaming journalists everywhere. "When something is happening, it is coming out through them immediately," he added. "It is a challenging world, in which you are earning reputation. Today, those who excelled are being honoured. Thank you to all who have been awarded," Khan said. The Home Minister called upon the journalists to contribute more, and to write "positive news" equally. "You will work to advance the country," he added. Read more: Militancy has no place in Bangladesh: Home Minister The awards were given to 11 winners for 10 prizes in four categories based on the marks received from the jury board members. Later, the invited guests along with the minister handed over the prizes to the winners. Rajeev Noor (Samakal) won the award in the liberation war category. He received this award for his series reporting on Etihaser Chhera Pata. Abu Zar Anshar Uddin Ahmed of Samakal won the first prize in the print media category, Md Ismail Ali of the Daily Share Biz got second prize, while Jameel Khan of Daily Star and Obaidullah Roni of Samakal jointly got the third prize in this category. Read more: Warned Myanmar against firing shots towards Bangladesh, says Home Minister Abu Zar Anshar Uddin Ahmed of Samakal won the first prize in the print media category, Md Ismail Ali of the Daily Share Biz got second prize, while Jameel Khan of Daily Star and Obaidullah Roni of Samakal jointly got the third prize in this category. Among others, Somoy TV web editor Mahfuzur Rahman, publisher of Dainik Bangla Chowdhury Nafiz Sarafat, DRU President Nazrul Islam Mithu and general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib were also present.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said that he feels journalists of the country “have weaknesses and lack maturity” when reporting. The minister said this after paying homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his mausoleum in Tungipara this afternoon. Talking about the media “misquoting” him recently, Momen said that the headlines used were “false and imaginary”. Read: Momen misquoted by media: MoFA “Media outlets including print, electronic and online published news with false headlines that the USA ‘a war-mongering country’, which I didn’t say. The headings had no connection with what I actually said. I think our journalists have weaknesses and I’ll be happy if they gain maturity,” Momen said. Momen added that the reports “misquoting him” put Bangladesh in an awkward position and the US may get a wrong impression about the country and this government. “Through misrepresenting the facts, our journalists have tried to create an adverse situation between the US and Bangladesh. Either these journalists didn’t know Bangla properly, or they had done this with specific reasons. They need to research why such low quality journalism prevails in the country,” Momen added. Read Momen in NY: No specific info given by US on Rab sanctions The foreign minister further said that journalism in Bangladesh doesn’t have the standards, moral and ethical values it used to have in the past. “It’s a shame for those journalists who wrote those false stories,” Momen said. Momen said he was misquoted on October 26 by some media outlets after he spoke at the seminar on "Sheikh Hasina at the United Nations", organised by the Progressive Columnist Forum of Bangladesh at Jatiya Press Club in the capital. Read Momen meets Lavrov, pitches for stronger international support for resolving Rohingya crisis Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a rejoinder, saying that misleading and baseless news quoting Foreign Minister Momen sent a wrong message to the people and the government of the US.
Introducing Bangladeshi audience to world-class movie experience in 2004, Star Cineplex, the first multiplex chain in Bangladesh, celebrated its 18th anniversary yesterday. The multiplex brand started its journey on October 8, 2004 with its maiden branch in the Dhaka’s Bashundhara City Shopping Mall. To celebrate 18th anniversary, Star Cineplex organised a gala event on Saturday night at its SKS Tower branch in Mohakhali, which was joined by an ensemble cast of celebrities and media personalities. Popular actors and directors including Chanchal Chowdhury, Azmeri Haque Badhan, Saimon Sadik, Sumon Anowar, Chayanika Chowdhury; the entire team of the upcoming film ‘Damal’ featuring Siam Ahmed, Bidya Sinha Saha Mim, Shariful Razz, Rashed Mamun Apu, director Raihan Rafi; the team of ‘Operation Sundarban’ including Roshan, director Dipankar Dipon; Star Cineplex produced and National Award-winning film ‘No Dorai’ famed actress Sunehra Binte Kamal and others joined the celebration with Star Cineplex. “We started our journey 18 years ago with a dream that has now become a reality — that audiences will return to the theatres. Our first two years were spent making people realise what we are offering: the Dolby Atmos surround system, the high definition screens and more. Eventually, the moviegoers gave us their support and we are amazed to observe the love we got from our audiences, filmmakers, artists, journalists and other associates over these years,” Star Cineplex parent company ShowMotion Limited Chairman Mahboob Rahman Ruhel said at the event. Sharing his gratitude, he told UNB that Star Cineplex is forever indebted to movie lovers, associates and the local media for a particular reason. "We struggled from the very beginning but things got out of control during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our halls were closed for such a long time, we could not pay our rent to the Bashundhara City authority and as a result, we announced the closing of that branch as we received an eviction notice. The way our beloved moviegoers and media friends helped us at the time, it was unbelievable and that eventually saved the original branch," Ruhel told UNB. At the event, he announced that the Cineplex authority is already coming up with new branches in major cities and after the commercial and critical success of ‘No Dorai’, Star Cineplex is set to produce 4 new films. “We initially had a dream that within 18 years, we would have 100 screens — but due to circumstances, we could not open more than 18 screens. That is going to be changed in the coming days, as we are opening new screens almost all over the country. We are very thankful to the government as new theatre entrepreneurs have become eligible to get low-interest loans, which will eventually help the industry grow more,” Star Cineplex chairman said. Cineplex authority congratulated the teams of ‘Poran’ and ‘Hawa’ at the event. The latter has broken Cineplex’s highest-grossing record of all time, according to Ruhel. The ceremony ended with cutting cake with the stars, celebrating the 18th birthday of the first Bangladeshi multiplex chain. This was followed by the screenings of two Hollywood films at Star Cineplex — ‘The Woman King’ and ‘The Free Fall.’
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Bangladesh’s growing media during her tenures has the freedom to say whatever they wish to say. “After saying everything, if someone says that he/she is not allowed to speak, what would be the answer? That’s what I’d like to know,” she said in an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA), aired on Tuesday. Read:“Not possible for us to take any more people, Rohingyas must go back” The prime minister was responding to a question on Digital Security Act (DSA) enacted by her government and its impact on freedom of media. She is now in Washington, on a visit to the United States. She said that Bangladesh had only a few TV and radio stations before she came to power in 1996 and those were controlled by the government. PM Hasina said once she came to power, she made an opening for the private sector to run media houses freely. Read: Hasina and Friends: Interactive gaming platform to educate children She said 32 private television channels are now operational among the approved 44 TV channels. The prime minister said people are taking part in television talk shows and they speak freely – true or false – and they criticize the government. She said there was no freedom of speech or movement during the military dictatorship.
The country’s leading online marketplace Daraz Bangladesh has organized the "Bangladesh Media Innovation Awards 2022" (BMIA 2022) event ceremony at the Ruposhi Bangla Grand Ballroom, InterContinental Dhaka on Tuesday. Daraz Bangladesh organized the first-of-its-kind media awards recognizing innovative practices toward digital transformation, content marketing, and news distribution, with the aim to seek out the leading lights in the local digital media for their innovative ideas and practices. Planning Minister MA Mannan joined the event as chief guest, while Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury was present as the special guest. Daraz Bangladesh’s Managing Director Syed Mostahidal Hoq, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer A H M Hasinul Quddus and other officials and media personnel from various industries and media outlets were also present at the ceremony. “Bangladesh is going through several changes and transitions. The opportunities for Daraz in the global marketplace and our media outlets in the global media landscape are truly limitless, and we want to thank Daraz Bangladesh for recognizing the innovators in our local media industry,” MA Mannan said at the event. Deputy Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury said, “Due to the lack of quality entertainment and meaningful programs in our media industry, people in our urban and rural communities are being misguided by religious extremists. We need to recognize the deserving media personnel who are trying to ensure quality content in tv, print and web, and this award is virtuously performing that responsibility.” Read: Daraz Bangladesh celebrates its 8th anniversary A total of twenty best performers from various wings of the country's media industry were presented with the prestigious BMIA 2022 awards. The winners were - The Business Standard, under the Innovative Print Layout category; Dhaka Tribune, under the category of Innovative Special Supplement, ICE Business Times, under the Best Business Magazine category; ICE today under the Best Lifestyle Magazine; The Business Standard, under the category of the Best use of infographics; The Daily Samakal, under the Best Social Media Campaign; Deepto TV, under the Best Use of Social Media category; Chorki, under the Best Digital Diversification Project category; The Daily Jugantor, under the Best Co-branded online project; Somoy TV, under the Most innovative digital report; DBC News, under the Best TV Programme for Women category; Duronto TV, under the Best TV Programme (Kids) category; Jamuna TV under the Best TV Programme (Entertainment) category; ATN Bangla under the Best TV Programme (Lifestyle) category; Ekattor Media Ltd., under the Best TV Programme (Sports); Independent TV under the Best Country Branding Programme category. Bangladesh Television (BTV), Channel I, Ittefaq and The Daily Star received the BMIA 2022 under the special recognition category. After the ceremony, popular singers Khayam Sanu Sandhi, Karishma Sanu Sovvota and Musharrat Aanchal performed at the event. Bangladesh Brand Practitioner was the event's outreach partner, SBK Foundation was the strategic partner, Reboot was the event partner and Dimadim was the ideation partner of the event.
The Hero Alam episode has been a bad advertisement for the state as a culture controller. Not that they are feeling embarrassed about it. As the police told the media, they have received many complaints against Hero Alam’s singing. So they brought him in. And the police told him not to do the singing which irritates many, at least going by the complaints. What is odd is that the police thought this to be worth noticing. As they act when under pressure, it seems a large section of the elite are seriously unhappy and feel “threatened” by Hero Alam. The police of course had another axe to grind. As they told the media, he had been using a police uniform in some of his videos acting as police bosses wearing constables’ dress. This had insulted the force in general. Also read: Accept Hero Alam’s nomination, HC orders EC What was unexpected is the response from social media which was overwhelmingly against such action. Hero was turned into a victim and a public hero. Many said the police had no business deciding what is culturally appropriate. That Alam was from the bottom and the police were shutting down a voice from there. Hero Alam had suddenly become a voice of a cultural class war. So where is the conflict ? Ex-Minister Murad who was sacked after rape threat tapes were leaked is reportedly one of the complainants. In a You Tube interview, he said, “ I was at an event where he was singing. He probably didn’t recognize me. After he finished singing I told him “have you no shame. ? The impudence you showed in singing is astounding. You need voice, talent, knowledge of music and you have none. Given the voice and the face God has given you, you should sing for the lower class which is your audience and should not come to Gulshan to sing. “ Admitting that Hero Alam had an audience who listened to him on You tube, his ire was that he should be singing in front of He had no doubt that he sang for the lower class and it’s Gulshan that was offended. Also read: DB quizzes Hero Alom for controversial video content The matter has been here for long but the issue is not about his singing but the control of social media. No one controls social media and that is anxiety creating. Hero Alam insults the establishment culture by his singing and it can’t be stopped on social media. Anyone studying popular culture will know that Facebook has built a virtual alternate world of culture which neither the establishment nor the shushils can recognize. With millions of views with which no mainstream product can compete, the sense of lack of control is high. And its growing. The conflict is not about who sings Tagore but who controls social media. The outcome is obvious. The state has turned Alam into a Hero. And the battle has no chance of ending right now, no matter how many times police class.