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10 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Massive media exposure for common masses needed

In putting headlines we often see either the absence of potentiality and genius or the presence of the compromise formula implemented shrewdly
Sakib Hasan
Massive media exposure for common masses needed

For quite a long time the issues and the interests of the toiling masses or the low and limited income bracketed people are being either left neglected or getting lack luster profile in the media of Bangladesh. Even though these people make up 85% of the total population, their genuine grievances of utmost exigencies like employment, housing, education, nutrition, etc. are consuming a little over only 15% to 20% space both in the print media and the visual media. On the other hand, many obvious low-key and silly issues and interests figure prominently in the media coverage of Bangladesh over the recent years. Whatever way we may define this trend in covering news, it is, above all, a clear deviation from the avowed commitment of the people-friendly journalism.

Once compared to the social media, both the popularity and the influence of the social media are fast outpacing the one-enjoyed by the print media only two or three years back. True that the social media enjoys some obvious technological advantages such as it can work as an open-ended platform in interacting directly and instantly among the people. Moreover, people can keep track of the latest happenings taking place in every nook and crannies of both home and abroad. On the contrary, the print media can print only once in the span of 24 hours. It is definitely a serious drawback of the print media that it cannot stay with the interests of the people round the clock. Even so, print media can effectively cater to the interests of the readers if the print media can customize itself the way people want to see it.

For example, the universally common issues of the people still do have the highest and greatest readership even in the social media. The outrageously inhuman atrocities against Syrian and the Rohingya civilian people stream in the news feed of the social media. Similarly, we also watch the endless footages covering the human rights violations as well as the environmental issues in the social media even though there are innumerable fussy and trashy issues flashing in the web pages of the social media. If people lose interests in the fundamental issues of life and living then the mentioned core issues of absolutely human interest surely not find any space in the hyperlinks of the online and people, instead, keep watching cheap and popular soap opera-type insignificantly trashy issues.

The print media, though faced with the serious challenge from the social media still has something to do once it really wants to come back right on the competitive track. This is undoubtedly an area wherein the question of brilliant journalism is directly concerned. Let me make it clear in crystal and comprehensible terms. All newspapers of Bangladesh don’t have the equal circulations. What makes the differences among the newspapers? There must be many other factors cumulatively contributing to the wider circulations of a particular newspaper. However, the role of brilliant journalism overshadows all other secondary considerations and logistic support.

It is the primary requirement of brilliant journalism to be able to read the pulse of the people and to address the inner urges of the people in a positively committed way. It can, in no way, be the part of the commitment of the true journalism to always pander to the popular tastes. What we see practically in many of the newspapers’ pages simply stagger us beyond conscience. In putting the topics in the headlines we often see either the absence of potentiality and genius or the presence of the compromise formula implemented shrewdly. Again, what I categorically say and mean here is that all newspapers are not to blame here on this particular point. At the same time, I need to tell it outspokenly that the news items like Sophia Robot or a fashion show should not be splashed in the headlines. Of course, they will be published but they will have to be published in the sidelines.

I firmly believe that newspapers represent the conscience of the nation. And it is the rock solid commitment of the journalists that uphold the nation’s conscience and propel it forward. In one way newspapers will undoubtedly address the popular tastes and preferences but that must not be done at the cost of sacrificing the issues of mass people’s bread and butter. Here newspapers have to play the lead role of a guide and a teacher giving necessary directives to the nation and showing the right track to tread on.

I do believe that if all professionals involved in the industry of print media are well aware of their appropriate role and responsibility then things will take the course for the better. Otherwise, the very existence of the print media will be threatened even more seriously.  

 

The writer, Assistant

Professor of English in

Bogra Cantonment Public School & College, is a contributor to

The Independent.

E-mail: shasanbogra1@gmail.com

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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