Editors, journalists, academics and activists on Thursday recognised the need for a common framework of guideline towards better safety and security of journalists in the context of increasing threats and risks.
Participating in a regional dialogue in the city, the speakers recognised that physical, psychological, legal and digital aspects constitute equally important safety issues for newsmen.
Hosted by the Editors’ Council, the ‘Regional Dialogue on Safety and Security for Journalists’ was attended by journalists from local and national news outlets covering print, electronic and online mediums, journalist union leaders, academics, civil society representatives and experts.
The dialogue was held at the Auditorium of BRAC Centre in the capital, said a press release of the Editors’ Council.
The participants agreed that the guideline of journalists’ safety protocol should be a product of a joint exercise of all quarters concerned, including the Editors’ Council, Newspaper Owners’ Association, Press Institute of Bangladesh, journalists’ unions, Jatiya Press Club, the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity and all such bodies.
Editors stressed that prevailing international best practices should form the basis of the safety protocol, which will hopefully be adopted and practised by media outlets.
The dialogue urged the government and its agencies to do as much as possible to ensure safety and security of journalists and contribute to removing hurdles that threaten press freedom.
International speakers included Sri Lanka-based Ranga Kalansooriya, Regional Advisor for Asia, International Media Support, India-based Rana Ayyub, Investigative journalist and writer and UK-based Lucy Freeman, Chief Executive of Media Legal Defense Initiative.
Reazuddin Ahmed, veteran journalist, editor, union leader and member of the Editors’ Council chaired and moderated the programme.
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of the Daily Star, also the Editors’ Council general secretary introduced the topic journalists’ safety and security at the beginning of the discussion and welcomed the participants.