Sounding a note of warning against fake news portals, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said legal actions would be taken soon against all fake online news portals.
"There were only a few online news portals in 2009. Now, there are so many online portals. But, not all of them are helpful in many cases. For this, we started online registration activities and we've a plan to complete the registration process within the year as far as possible," he said.
The information minister said actions would be taken from next year against those online new portals that are involved in serving personal interest instead of publishing objective news, in spreading rumours and in creating instability in the society.
He was addressing the inaugural function of 'Reporters Journal' an online journal of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) and DRU writer award 2020 at DRU auditorium in the capital.
Al Arafha Islami Bank deputy managing director Md Shafiqur Rahman and DRU general secretary Riaz Chowdhury addressed the function as special guests with DRU president Rafiqul Islam Azad in the chair.
Hasan said actions would be taken after registration activities of online news portals. It is the need of society and journalists as well, he added.
He said actions would be taken against those portals which are working on other issues instead of publishing news. "This is not the scenario of Bangladesh, but the picture of whole world. In the developed countries, it has been possible to establish discipline in this sector which has not been possible here fully. Sometimes, wrong news are published," he added.
The information minister said there are many unintentional mistakes, especially in online media, he said, adding that it would be possible to reduce the mistakes in news.
In this regard, DRU took initiative of giving training to journalists along with PIB, which is really appreciable, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said now it is seen that someone opens an online portal and gives a journalist's card to one. But, he is not real journalist, he added.
The information minister said the all journalists organizations including DRU could take a pivotal role to stop such incidents.
Some 'fake journalist' can bring disrepute to the entire journalist community, he said, adding that the lawyers associations catch the fake advocates.
In this situation, if the journalist organizations take the initiative then the government would stand beside them.
The information minister thanked DRU for inaugurating the online journal and said it is easy to reach information to common people through online. Bangladesh is now a digital country and it is possible for the digitalization.
He said there were only about 40 lakh people who used internet in 2009. But, now, over 11 crore people are using internet. About 3 to 4 crore people used mobile phone in 2009, he said, adding, now about 15.5 crore people are using mobile SIM cards which has been possible only for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's dynamic, pragmatic and farsighted leadership.
The writers who received awards are Morsalin Ahmed, Jakir Hossain, Mizan Rahman, M Mamun Hossain, Riaz Chowdhury, Sajeda Parvin Saju, Amin Al Rashid, Motahar Hossain, Pranab Majumder, Amirul Momenin Manik, Rakibul Islam Mukul, Abu Ali, Mizan Malik, Mustafizur Rahman Nahid, Md Shafiullha Suman, Tariqul Islam Masum, Abu Hena Imrul Kayes, Maidur Rahman Rubel, Masum Molla, Sayeed Abdul Malik, Dipan Nandi, Haque Faruque Ahmed, Salina Sheuly, Chapal Bashar, Ashish Kumar Dey, Jamshed Nazir, Shamsuzzaman Shams, Indrajit Sarker, Ahmed Mushfika Naznin and Habibullha Fahad.
The information minister handed over crests and honourium to the all writers.
Later, Hasan inaugurated shed for motorbikes for DRU members.