21.06.2013 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Understanding the Right to Information for accurate and fair journalism

The IPDC project for Bangladesh, ‘Understanding the RTI for accurate and fair journalism’ will build an understanding and deeper awareness about RTI among 150 Bangladeshi journalists. It will enhance their ability to gather information and will contribute towards the promotion of press freedom in the country. The project will be implemented by News Network Bangladesh, and it will conclude by May 2014.  

The Caretaker Government of Bangladesh (2007–9) promulgated the ‘Right to Information Ordinance’ in 2008, and it was passed as a law in 2009. The law included a number of clauses that allowed Government officials to avoid disclosing any information. Besides, a culture of opacity still makes the administration hesitant to communicate with the press even on matters of general interest and importance. Despite the official adoption of the RTI Act over three years ago, no significant steps have been taken by the Government to implement the Act. Neither have awareness-building activities or campaigns been undertaken by the Government or NGOs. As a result, the public and even many journalists are still in the dark about how the RTI works. Journalists, however, could play an important role in creating awareness about the RTI by publishing in-depth and investigative reports using the RTI Act as a tool for information gathering.

 News Network will organize five four-day training workshops, for 30 journalists each, in five important divisions of Bangladesh (Sylhet, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong). Journalists from the print and broadcast media will be trained to use RTI techniques in information gathering, thus enhancing the quality and authenticity of their stories. Improved reporting will ultimately promote greater transparency, press freedom and freedom of expression.

 

For further information contact:

Iskra Panevska

Adviser for Communication and Information




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