ঢাকা ২৫শে জুন ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ, ১১ই আষাঢ় ১৪৩১ বঙ্গাব্দ, ১৯শে জিলহজ ১৪৪৫ হিজরি

Mass media can play an essential role in fighting against misinformation

redtimes.com,bd
প্রকাশিত মে ২০, ২০২৪, ১১:৩০ অপরাহ্ণ
Mass media can play an essential role in fighting against misinformation

 

Sharmin Jahan

A day-long training workshop on ‘Training of Facilitators to Fight Against Misinformation’ was held today, 20 May 2024, in Dhaka. The aim was to provide further sustenance to the stakeholders to strengthen mechanisms for countering misinformation. The training was organized by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), with the support of The Asia Foundation.
A total of 24 representatives of Public and Private Universities, NIMC, PIB, and national news media attended the Training as participants, along with Resource Persons. Mr. Md. Mojibur Rahman, Additional Secretary (Development), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was the Chief Guest at the closing session of the training. The special guests were Mr. Zafar Wazed, Director General of Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB); Mr. Sufi Zakir Hossain, Director General (Acting) of National Institute of Mass Communication, Dhaka; and Mr. Asinur Reza, Program Coordinator of — the South Asia Governance Program at The Asia Foundation.
At the beginning of the program, Mr. AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer, BNNRC & Executive Coordinator, Bangladesh Initiative for Unified Voices on Global Digital Compact and UN Summit of the Future 2024, welcomed the participants and discussed the objectives and goals of the training with the explanation of UN Information Integrity on Digital Platforms.
Then, the Training Facilitator, Mr. Minhaz Uddin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Jagannath University, Dhaka, presented the contexts of misinformation, disinformation, and misinformation. The distinguished Participants held a Panel discussion on fighting misinformation and fake News.

In the smart and digital world, thousands of things with misleading information are published every day, and millions of people see and hear that. From here, people and the state are in danger through misinformation and manipulated content. The speakers believe that mass media can play an essential role in preventing misinformation.
The speakers presented such information in the day-long workshop entitled ‘Training of Facilitators to Fight against Misinformation’ organized by Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication with the support of The Asia Foundation at the National Institute of Mass Communication in Dhaka’s Darussalam area on Monday.
The speakers said that with smartphones, people from big cities to isolated villages instantly know what is happening worldwide through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media. Due to the internet and digitalization, a lot of information comes to people every day. They make up their minds about the facts. Ordinary people do not understand what accurate information is and what is disinformation or misinformation.
Many others intentionally spread misinformation. Many people share dis or misinformation without understanding. It is seen that they have no personal interest. But they took the wrong information, they said.
We need to work here. For this, the speakers emphasized conducting such workshops in different upazilas and village areas. They also urged working on institutionalizing the fact-checking process to determine whether this is disinformation or misinformation. They also think that social media needs to have a counter-narrative.
The speakers also said that in the digital era, children are also getting misinformation. Because of this, they watch various types of content on YouTube. They no longer understand any disinformation or misinformation.
The speakers emphasize the issue of misinformation being included in the education curriculum at the primary and secondary school levels. They think that the media can play an important role in these matters.
Ajker Patrika’s Editor, Prof Dr. Golam Rahman; Prothom Alo’s Joint Editor, Mr. Sohrab Hassan, Dhaka University’s Mass Communication & Journalism Department Chairman, Prof Dr Abul Mansur Ahmed; Dhaka University’s Mass Communication & Journalism Department Prof Dr S M Shameem Reza, Amader Shomoy and The Business Post Executive Editor, Mr. Mainul Alam, Bangla Vision TV Senior News Editor Abu Rushd Md Ruhul Amin were discussed in the workshop.
Dr. Abul Mansur Ahmed, Professor and chairman of Dhaka University’s Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, said, “We have not been able to create responsible readers or users of various news media.”
Prothom Alo Joint Editor Mr. Sohrab Hasan said, “The publication and dissemination of news without long-term monitoring can create chaos.
Mr. Zafar Wazed, Director General of the Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB), mentioned that the exact words are not reflected in the words of those who gave an example of damage caused by misinformation.
Director General (Acting) of the National Media Institute, Mr. Sufi Zakir Hossain, expressed hope that the joint efforts of the people and the government can effectively disseminate correct information to prevent misinformation.
The chief guest, Additional Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Md. Mojibur Rahman, said that almost everyone has a smartphone these days. People can easily communicate with the rest of the world, from big cities to isolated villages. Everyone is instantly informed of what is happening worldwide through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media. Social media now creates mistakes and confusion. According to the Cyber and Special Crimes Division of the Intelligence Service, those who want to undermine the country primarily commit crimes like spreading misinformation. The government is working on this, but a concerted effort is needed to do more of this.
Dhaka University’s Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Professor Dr. S.M. Shameem Reza said, “When someone wants to spread misinformation in a concerted manner, it becomes difficult to stop it. Rumors are sometimes created due to the state’s inefficiency. If the person in charge can provide the right information at the right time, it can be reduced to a great extent.”
The workshop was also attended by teachers of mass communication and journalism departments of different universities, journalists of various media, and others.
Later, the training was concluded with an open question-and-answer session and closing remarks.
It is hoped that after the Training is completed, the trained participants will be linked with the media house as professionals and will counter fake news through their writing. PIB, NIMC, and universities will play vital roles in working with student journalists to build their capacity for countering misinformation.
BNNRC is a media development organization established in 2000 and registered with the Bureau of NGO Affairs under the Office of the Honorable Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. It is a unique consultative United Nations Economic and Social Council organization. It is the winner of the World Summit on Information Society United Nations Award 2016 and the champion of 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023 for its contribution to building the information society.
BNNRC plays a role in national, regional, and international knowledge-driven media development. It endeavors to develop media based on knowledge and ongoing issues, considering the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing reality of media in Bangladesh. The aim is to ensure information rights, good governance, and the human rights of the people living in rural areas.
In today’s Bangladesh, where digital transmission is advancing rapidly, the dangers of misinformation and disinformation vary from capital to rural areas. Misinformation represents a significant threat to democracy, transparency, and security. It affects Bangladeshi societies at different levels in combating hate speech, discrimination, violence, and gender inequalities.

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