News 24 off to a grand start
The NEWS24, an HD satellite television channel of East West Media Group Ltd., a concern of the country’s largest business conglomerate Bashundhara Group, was formally inaugurated on Thursday.
News 24 off to a grand start With the slogan ‘We are not impartial, we are biased towards people’, the TV channel was launched at a grand gala function at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan inaugurated the TV channel.
Addressing as the chief guest, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu hoped that NEWS24 will safeguard the country’s image and play an important role in ensuring its voyage towards advancement.“I do believe that the newly launched channel will highlight our culture, literature and tradition. It will also help check bad impacts of western culture on our new generation,” he said.
Amu, also an advisory council member of the ruling Awami League, criticised some TV channels for highlighting the attack at Gulshan for seven to eight days as such broadcasting tarnishes the image of the country in the international arena.
“I hope that the TV channel will air the facts objectively. Alongside showing negative aspects, it will also highlight positive news about the country,” he said.
The minister expressed hope that NEWS24 will present Bangladesh fairly before the international community.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed hoped that NEWS24 will uphold the ideologies of freedom fight and take a bold stand against militants and terrorists.
“We have to keep it in mind that the recent militant attacks are not an isolated problem for Bangladesh, these are a global problem. It will not be logical to judge Bangladesh by the attack at Gulshan… Bangladesh is advancing forward in many indexes,” he said.
Tofail, also a senior leader of ruling Awami League, said the main attempt of militant attacks is to tarnish the image of Bangladesh in international arena.
“But businessmen assured us that country’s foreign trade will not be the loser due to the recent attacks. Bangladesh will advance forward despite all conspiracies,” he said adding that NEWS24 will assist the government in its voyage to march forward.
The minister also asked the media to be alert so that nobody becomes victimised or harassed due to any of its news items.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu expressed the hope that NEWS24, established by Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, will function as a strong TV channel.
He asked NEWS24 authorities to reflect the matter of social responsibility in their activities.
“As a media house, you have to be attentive about the security of state as well as the personal security. You have to be dutiful about rights of children and women,” he said.
Inu said that through issuing licence to many television channels, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave the message that the government believes in democracy and works for safeguarding democracy.
The minister sought assistance of the media in resisting militancy, terrorism and cyber crimes to ensure peaceful advancement of the country.
Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said his conglomerate is firm to build a positive Bangladesh and bring to light the positive image of the country through its expansive media outlets.
“A question may arise in the public mind as to why we’ve come with several print and electronic media outlets. The answer is simple: we like to see a strong Bangladesh, we want to contribute to building a positive Bangladesh through media activities.”
“We wish to see the nation run keeping pace with other states in the global context,” Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said.
Despite all odds, he said, business confidence is on the up and up and other activities are running well. “None can stop the forward journey of the country.”
As an example, he referred to the steady progress of the ready-made garment sector, the country’s top foreign-exchange earner, which is also the major generator of jobs, with 80 lakh women alone working here now.
“Yesterday, some Japanese came to us. They would like to work for building a green city here. The country is going to get 100 economic zones. Bashundhara Group alone has got permission to set up two such special zones. It will create at least 40,000 employment opportunities.”
“Bangladesh will be in its locomotive motion. All development and positive activities will continue. We must succeed in materialising the dream, surmounting all impediments. There is no scope for us to stop journey for fears of untoward incidents,” Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said.
Thanking the government for granting a licence to Bashundhara Group for its TV venture, he said, NEWS24 will work for safeguarding and promoting the interests of the people and the country at large.
“We are committed to highlight the image of the country to the world community through this TV station,” the Bashundhara Group chairman said.
“The way Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been pushing the country forward, we (the people of the country) should stand beside her in doing this arduous job,” he stated.
Eventually, he added, Bashundhara Group has been trying to protect the interest of the country for the last couple of years through its media outlets.
Naem Nizam, CEO of NEWS24, delivered the welcome address at the programme.
He said the newly launched News24 TV will be a television of the masses. The channel will stand with the viewers.
He also said the TV channel will highlight positive Bangladesh. It will also work towards ensuring a Bangladesh free from militancy and violence.
Among others, Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Jamuna Group owner Md Nurul Islam, State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Awami League Organising Secretary Ahmed Hossain, AKM Shamim Osman MP, BNP leader Zainul Abdin Farroque, Deputy Minister for Environment and Forests Abdullah Al Islam Jakob, M A Naimur Rahman Durjoy MP, Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) President Abdul Kader Siddique, Director General of Rapid Action Battalion Benazir Ahmed, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia, Director of the Directorate of Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Lt Col Mohammed Rashidul Hasan, Advocate S M Rezaul Karim, former ambassador Wali-ur Rahman, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq, Chittagong Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, LN MK Bashar, prominent Nazrul Sangeet singer Rebeka Sultana, daily sun Editor MD Jamilur Rahman, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Huq Milon, Editor-in-Chief of Banglanews24 Alamgir Hossain, high officials from print and electronic media attended the function.