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Newspapers facing unprecedented crisis in Bangladesh-Editors’ Council

In a statement issued on Monday, it said that as a service industry, newspapers never faced such a situation in the past. Calling for support from the government, it said that no support is being extended to it at a time when it is struggling for survival and several other industries have received support from the government. 

The statement pointed out that several newspapers in Bangladesh have stopped publication due to falling demand caused by the Corona pandemic. The council noted that they have adopted online format for news dissemination.

The Editors’ Council of Bangladesh also opposed the registration of online news portals mandated by the government. The council said that it sees no logical reason for newspapers requiring government approval for publishing news online. It urged the government that  the newspapers should be treated like television channels, which need no approval to operate online outlets.

Referring to the arrest of some journalists under the provisions of the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA), the council called for amendment of the act to stop its misuse.

The government of Bangladesh started the process for the registration of online news portals in December last year. Government has announced that action will be taken against the news portals which don’t register with the authorities. 

More than 3500 news portals had applied for registration to the government. The government published a partial list of ‘verified’ news portals early in August this year.

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