Irregular newspapers harm mainstream dailies

Info minister says at meeting with Sangbadpatra Forum

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said the circulation of daily newspapers will be probed into to ensure that the newspapers published irregularly will not get government advertisement.

He came up with the assertion while speaking to a delegation of Bangladesh Editors’ Forum at the Secretariat in the city on Thursday. 

The minister said his ministry will get the circulation of newspapers investigated by a government agency, besides the DFP probe, as claimed circulation of some newspapers does not match their real printed copies.

Forum Advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury (Editor of Daily Observer), led the delegation, which included another Advisor Sharif Shahab Uddin (Editor-in-Chief of Bangladesh Post), Convener Rafiqul Islam Ratan and Member Secretary Faroque Ahmed Talukder.

State Minister for Information Dr Murad Hassan was also present at the meeting.

On behalf of the forum, its advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury placed their demands at the beginning of the meeting.

The information minister said, “There are many newspapers in the country which are not published regularly. These are registered as daily newspapers but they are published only when they get [government] supplements or advertisements. Such newspapers harm the mainstream daily newspapers.”

“The irregular newspapers can’t be daily newspapers. I took initiatives against these newspapers. So many people do not like me,” he added.

Dr Hasan Mahmud also said, “The irregular newspapers used to get advertisements regularly but I strongly discouraged this practice. Your demands will be met if this problem is solved completely.”

He said the circulation of newspapers, only excepting one or two, has dropped during coronavirus pandemic. Still I get applications seeking increase in circulation in DFP documents. It is unrealistic.”

The minister disagreed with a suggestion of the forum leaders that one will require to be at least a university graduate for being an editor.

“There are many people in Bangladesh who have passed only 10th level, but are more efficient in writing than those who have secured MA or PhD degree,” he said.

Hasan Mahmud laid emphasis on implementing the ninth wage board in the newspapers.