Bangladesh was rocked by violence during the years of 2013 and 2014, when the power struggle between political groups and division between social factions reached a peak point. During this period, mass media (mainstream and social) played a huge role in propagating hatred and violence rather than ensuring peace]. The current situation in Bangladesh is not an improvement from those years but rather a normalization of such extremities. Irresponsible media politics and the division between the outlets also contributed to harsher media regulation by the governments which have curtailed freedom of expression for all involved parties, and only made the government powerful.
The role of media in modern society was never beyond criticism, as mass media not only played the role of a force for democratization of society but also an instrument in creating consent of people on behalf of the ruling powers. And during the recent years with the rise of internet technology and the arrival of social media, mass media has also become a space where the distinction between facts and fiction, news and propaganda have blurred to a point which is unprecedented in human history.
We believe, to cope with this situation we need to focus on a media literacy policy framework that encourages critical engagement on part of the audience. If the consumer of news and information’s are critical towards all forms of media outlets (both mainstream and alternative), then all forms of media actors will be obliged to be more accountable. We want to discuss how we can encourage critical engagement among the audience so that mass media becomes less of a ground for creating consent or propagating hatred but more of a ground for critical democratic engagement that encourages moderation, dialogue, responsibility and social cohesion? Who could be the main actors to enforce such policy and what are the obstacles?
– Fahmidul Haq, Professor, Dept. of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka.
– Nurul Kabir, Journalist, Writer, Columnist, Editor, and Activist.
– Ajanta Deb Roy, Social Media Activist
Book a seat:
Media as a Catalyst for Social Cohesion in Bangladesh: Free
22 Feb, 19:30 – 22:00
Avijit Roy Room, In Het Koorenhuis