DHAKA - President Md. Abdul Hamid has asked media people to give the highest priority for national interest in presenting news and views remaining accountable to the people and the country.
"Media now enjoys full freedom of expression here . . . You (media people) must remain alert so that no outsider can interfere in your works and you have to apply self-censorship to some extents," said the President while speaking at the 'Bazlur Rahman Smirti Padak-2016' distribution ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
Highlighting the role of media in flourishing free flow of information and expression, the President pointed out the incumbent government's different initiatives in this regard.
He said the responsibility of newspapers and electronic media is extensive in flourishing country's hard-earned democracy and ensuring human rights.
President Hamid emphasized on quality and objectivity of any news and opinions saying, "The overall environment of journalism is dissimilar to that of sixties as mass media is heading towards corporate culture."
Hoping that the media people would pinpoint the government's missteps, the President said constructive criticism can help the government to take right decision for building the country in right direction.
"Mass media and democracy is inter-related. Human rights could not be established without democracy. The mass-media expands when democracy flourishes in a country," Hamid observed terming the mass-media is as the fourth pillar of a state.
Highly appreciating the newspapers and electronic media for playing continued role in exploring the unknown history of Liberation War and preserving the memories, he hoped that the 'Bazlur Rahman Smiriti Padak' would encourage them to carry out the task in days ahead.
The President recalled the contribution of late daily Sangbad Editor who was also the husband of Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, said, "Bazlu Bhai as an honest and brave journalist fought his whole life to establish the rights of mass people, and a non-communal, just and exploitation-free society."
As he (Bazlur) cherished the spirit of Liberation War and non-communal ideology, the President said, the late journalist never compromised with any evil and anti-state elements in his lifetime.
Abdul Hamid also called upon journalists to come forward in building a hunger and poverty 'Sonar Bangla' led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is committed to materialize the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On the outset of his speech, Hamid recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs who made their supreme sacrifices in 1971 War of Liberation and other democratic movements.
Two journalists - - Wakil Ahmed Hiron, senior reporter of the Daily Samakal and Mohammad Alauddin Ahmed, investigation cell's deputy editor of the Jamuna Television - - received the award for their reports on the War of Liberation.
Liberation War Museum has introduced the 'Padak' after the name of eminent journalist and former editor of the Daily Sangbad, an organizer of the Liberation War late Bazlur Rahman.
Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique presided over the Padak distribution ceremony where several ministers, members of parliament, political leaders and senior civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Among others, Trustees of Liberation War Museum Dr Sarwar Ali and Ziauddin Tariq Ali, Jury Board members - Faridur Reza Sagor and Robaet Ferdous, also spoke.