Democracy cannot flourish without freedom of media, said Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, urging journalists to work in unison to protect democracy of the county.
“Media and democracy are two sides of a coin. If media, the fourth pillar of the state, is affected, other pillars are also affected,” he said at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) Best Reporting Award 2017 ceremony yesterday.
DRU awarded 29 journalists at its auditorium yesterday. Each awardee received Tk 50,000 and a crest.
Of them, five journalists from The Daily Star won the award. Inam Ahmed and Shakhawat Liton jointly won it for their report on diplomacy while Porimol Palma for his report on health, Helemul Alam on urban problems and potentials, and Mohammad Al-Masum Molla for his report on the liberation war.
Addressing the ceremony as the chief guest, Inu said it was unfortunate that some professional journalists’ organisations have been heavily divided, hampering professionalism as well as democratic values.
He called upon journalists to stay united and take a strong stance against militancy and those responsible for it.
The minister said the prime minister is sympathetic about the journalists’ demand for the ninth wage board.
The owners of the newspapers, who had been rigid to the demand, have also recently relaxed their stance. The government will form the wage board as soon as the owners nominate their representatives, he said.
“The ninth wage board will be finalised by early September next year,” Inu said.
DRU President Sakhawat Hossain Badsha demanded swift formation of the wage board for all journalists from print and electronic media.
DRU Best Reporting Award 2017 Jury Board Chairman journalist Shajahan Sardar and DRU General Secretary Morsalin Nomani also spoke at the event.
The other journalists who received the award in print category include Mehedi Hasan of Naya Diganta in education; Ibrahim Hossain of Dhaka Tribune in objective economy; Rozina Islam of Prothom Alo in crime and law and order; Kazi Hafiz of Kaler Kantha in parliament and election; Azizur Rahman Ripon of The Financial Express in power and energy; Masud Alam of Prothom Alo in sports; Abu Saleh Roni of Samakal in politics, administration and judiciary; Kawser Rahman of Janakantha in agriculture and water management; M Mamun Hossain of Manobkantha in history and tradition; Mariam Moni Shenjuti of Bhorer Kagoj in financial sector.
Shipan Habib of Jugantar and Sajida Islam Parul of Samakal jointly won the award for their reports on women and children issues.
The awardees in television category include Faruque Ahmed Mehedi of Channel 24 in economics, Badruddoza Babu of Maasranga in urban problems and potential; Parvez Nadir Reza of Ekattor TV in crimes and law and order; MM Islam Moidul of NTV in information and communication technology; Shafiqul Islam Shiplu of SATV in sports; Mahbubul Alam Lablu of Independent TV in governance and corruption; Masudur Rahman of Channel 24 in women, children and human rights and Hasan Javed of NTV in health.
In online journalism category, Serajul Islam Siraj of Banglanews24.com won the award in women, children and human rights; Rafiqul Islam Mantu of risingbd.com in development and prospect; and Sayeed Shipan of jagonews24.com in information technology.
In radio section, Ahrar Hossain of BBC won the award in investigative reporting.