Restricting reporters’ access to central bank a great mistake, say journalist leaders

They said the free flow of information is a must to overcome the economic crisis and understanding the upcoming budget

UNB

May 15 2024 2:06 PM

Restricting reporters’ access to central bank a great mistake, say journalist leaders
Photo: Collected.

Journalist leaders of different organisations on Wednesday said that Bangladesh Bank (BB) has made a great mistake by banning journalists at the central bank.

They urged Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder to withdraw the ban immediately saying that the journalists are working to disseminate the right information about different sectors which also helps the government to make the right decision.

The journalist leaders were speaking in a meeting on the central bank’s ban held at the auditorium of the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) in Paltan.

They said the free flow of information is a must to overcome the economic crisis and understanding the upcoming budget.

They threatened that if the ban is not withdrawn , the leaders of various journalists' organizations including the National Press Club, journalists' unions, and Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) will wage a movement in the future against this ‘illegal’ ban.

They also alleged that the central bank is helping the corrupt businesses in looting bank money and giving protection to them by banning free access of journalists at the central bank headquarters.

 
ERF president Refayet Ullah Mirdha said journalists' access to Bangladesh Bank has been restricted for the last one and a half months and the central bank has been contacted several times for withdrawing the ban but it is still effective.

In such a situation, the meeting has been organised to take suggestions and opinions on what can be done to remove the restrictions on data collection and free access, he said.

The ERF president urged all to give opinion for the sake of journalism staying above political ideology.

General Secretary of Jatiya Press Club and Editor of Bhorer Kagoj Shyamal Dutta said that there would be no benefit to banning journalists from entering the central bank.

“Because in this digital era, it is not possible to keep information secret. Either way, the data will be extracted.”

“Did the thieves have to come to the Bangladesh Bank when the reserve money was stolen? The thieves did not need to come to Bangladesh. Now the information of theft cannot be kept secret by banning the entry of journalists,” he said.

President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Ruhul Amin Gazi, Secretary General Kader Gani Chowdhury, Founding Convenor of ERF and Editor of English Daily the Financial Express Shamsul Haque Zahid, Editor of UNB Farid Hossain, Dhaka Union of Journalist Union-DUJ (one faction) president Sohel Haider Chowdhury, Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, president of the other faction of DUJ Shahidul Islam, President of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) Syed Shukur Ali Shubo, General Secretary Mohiuddin Mahi, Ex-President of ERF Manwar Hossain, former general secretary of ERF Ziaur Rahman, SM Rashidul Islam, among others, spoke in the event.

ERF General Secretary Abul Kashem moderated the programme.

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