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Politicking is not media’s business in Bangladesh: Khalidi

October 25, 2013

18_Toufique+Imrose_231013BDNEWS24.com Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi has reminded the politicians of their duty to safeguard the political process as he opposed the media’s direct involvement in politics.

He felt a ‘free and functioning media’ cannot sustain without a ‘proper political process’.
“When people talk about a ‘third force’ – we would like to believe they are talking about a third political force. We have never supported a third force outside the political process.””It is the responsibility of the politicians to protect the process. And the media must be in a position to support that. Because we have a stake. A free and functioning media cannot sustain without a proper political process.”

The country had gone through volatile politics in the run-up to the ninth parliamentary elections, which was ultimately held in Dec 2008, after a hiatus of almost two years.

bdnews24.com, the country’s first internet-only newspaper, was in the early stages of its evolution.

Speaking at the seventh anniversary programme of bdnews24.com on Wednesday evening, Khalidi remembered those days as well as the media’s responsibility, vital for that period.

His audience at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel included policymakers from both the government and the opposition.

Even top judges, lawyers, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, poets, litterateurs, journalists, cultural activists, organisers, sportsmen, civil and military officials were present.

The Editor-in-Chief said, “Politicking is not media’s business. We do not support any media entity getting engaged in changing regimes.”

“We do cover politics, analyse or comment on political developments but getting involved directly should not be in our scheme of things.”

‘BDNEWS’ was launched as a news agency in 2005, keeping its contents to its subscribers only.

bdnews24.com was re-launched at the dawn of Oct 23 as the country’s first internet-only newspaper in Bengali and English opening up its all contents to readers when Bangladesh was going through a crucial period.

Remembering that period, he said, “We started off at a time when there was no dearth of news. The nation was in a crisis. Remember 2006? Especially the second half? Political violence was the order of the day. A caretaker government wasn’t really functioning.”

“Half the advisers resigned and were replaced by not very credible people. Chaos continued, and an election was announced; and the stage was all set for a vote that would be boycotted by one of the major parties and all its allies.”

The political changeover on Jan 11, 2007, frustration, anger that had then gripped politics, trade and commerce came up in Khalidi’s speech.  Read more at BDNEWS of Bangladesh.

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