Bangladesh supports media freedom but will act against false online news, says Information Minister

The Minister emphasised the government’s commitment to preserving the freedom of media while acknowledging the need for a dedicated committee to combat false news relating to anti-state sentiments online.

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According to Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, the government of Bangladesh is supportive of newspapers and journalists, but it will take action against online media outlets that spread false information or anti-state news. The government stated that it aims to protect the freedom of media and has been working on its development. 

In order to address false or distorted news related to anti-state sentiments online, a committee has been established to identify and fact-check such news and inform the public through social and digital media. Out of the total online news portals (179) and digital versions (177) of daily newspapers, a majority (155) are registered with the government. 

Additionally, the minister stated that the government had authorised several TV channels, IPTV services, and news portals due to its liberal broadcast policy. It has also provided financial assistance to sick, poor, and deceased journalists and their families, including a special aid program during the COVID-19 pandemic.