Mukti

Watching the watchmen

Posted in politics by jrahman on May 10, 2009

180px-Who_Watches_the_WatchmenDespite harrassments of individual journalists under elected governments, and notwithstanding serious attempts of censorship by the army-backed interim regime in 2007-08, the print and electronic media in Bangladesh is probably freer than in many other comparable countries.  But how fair are they?  When we read something in one of our major dailies, how confident can we be that they are telling the truth? 

I am not talking about the editorial bias here — a newspaper may very well have an ideological stance that will come through in its opinion and editorial pages.  But these biases shouldn’t affect the way front page news stories are reported.  One usually cannot tell the difference between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal’s reports of a major news event, even though the two papers have vastly difference ideology.  Can we say the same for our newspapers?  

The recent back-to-back meetings by the Awami League and BNP at Paltan provides us with a good opportunity to check.  Both were the first major post-election public meetings with addresses from the leaders.  Both leaders spoke to their bases, with flourishing political rhetoric.  The factual reporting of the two events should be similar across our major newspapers.  

Are they?  You be the judge.

Daily Star 

The AL meeting is described as a ‘huge rally’ where the PM is reported to have claimed that ‘the power crisis is BNP’s creation’.

The BNP meeting is described as a ‘rally’ where the leader of the opposition asked the PM to ‘ensure power, water, or quit’.

New Age

The AL meeting is described as a ‘workers’ rally’ where the PM is reported to have promised that ‘the government will reopen closed mills’.

The BNP meeting is described as a ‘huge rally’ where the party chief is reported to have warned that ‘the militancy bogey could invite foreign troops’.

Prothom Alo

The AL meeting is described as a জনসভা, where referring to the electricity and water shortage, the PM is reported to have said এ সমস্যা থাকবে না ।  প্রয়োজনীয় ব্যবস্থা নেয়া হচ্ছে ।  তবে রাতারাতি এ সমস্যার সমাধান সম্ভব নয় ।

 The BNP meeting is also described as a জনসভা, where the leader of the opposition is reported to have said দেশে জঙ্গি নেই, যা ছিল আমরা ধরেছি ও শাস্তি দিয়েছি ।

Ittefaq

The AL meeting is described as a বিশাল শ্রমিক মহাসমাবেশ, where the PM is reported to have promised এই দিন থাকবে না, মানুষের মুখে হাসি ফোটাবো ।

The BNP meeting is described as a মহাসমাবেশ, where Mrs Zia is reported to have asked the PM ওয়াদা পূরণ করতে না পারলে গদি ছেড়ে দিন ।

Amader Shomoy

The AL meeting is described as a শ্রমিক জনসভা, where the PM is reported to have said তারাই বিদ্যুত-পানির এ সমস্যা সৃষ্ঠি করাছে, দায় পরেছে আমাদের কাঁধে ।

The BNP meeting is also described as a জনসভা, where the the BNP chairperson is reported to have complained কেউ চায় দেশ থেকে বের করে দিতে, কেউ চায় বাড়ি থেকে ।

Jugantor

The AL meeting is described as a জনসভা, where the PM is reported to have said সব ষড়যণত্র মোকাবেলা করে গণতণত্র সংহত করতে হবে ।

The BNP meeting is also described as a জনসভা, where Mrs Zia is reported to have asked the PM ওয়াদা পূরণ করতে না পারলে গদি ছেড়ে দিন ।

Inqilab

The AL meeting is described as বিশাল শ্রমিক সমাবেশ, where the PM is reported to have promised বন্ধ ও রুগ্ন শিল্প-কলকারখানা আবার চালু করা হবে ।

The BNP meeting is also described as বিশাল শ্রমিক জনসমাবেশ, where Mrs Zia is reported to have asked the government বিদ্যুত, গ্যাস ও পানি দিতে না পারলে গদি ছেড়ে দিন 

Naya Diganta

The AL meeting is described as শ্রমিক সমাবেশ, where the PM is reported to have said বিদ্যুত সমস্যা জোট সরকারের সৃষ্ঠ, রাতারাতি সমাধান সম্ভব নয় ।

The BNP meeting is described as বিশাল জনসমুদ্র, where Mrs Zia is reported to have asked the PM ওয়াদা পূরণ করুন, নইলে গদি ছাড়ুন ।

Amar Desh

I couldn’t find any news on the Amar Desh front page on the AL meeting.

The BNP meeting is described as বিশাল শ্রমিক মহাসমাবেশ, where the party chairperson is reported to have asked the PM পানি, বিদ্যুত চাকরী না দিতে পারলে গদি ছেড়ে দিন ।

Janakantha

Both meetings are jointly reported as পল্টনের দু’শোডাউনে চাপান-উতর দুই নেত্রীর ।

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To paraphrase Ben Franklin, believe none of what you read, and only half of what you see.

2 Responses

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  2. Mishu Kutubi said, on May 13, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Nice….

    http://mishukutubi.googlepages.com


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