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“Newspaper or e-paper not enough, audience wants audiovisual content as well”

In line with the new developments every day, newspapers worldwide are trying to incorporate innovative digital contents to keep the audience and create new audiences, the Editors' Council said today.

Also, the print media is going through challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, there is no way of denying the rise of digital platforms, while the print media remains equally relevant. Now, the audience cannot be satisfied only through the newspaper or the e-paper, they want new contents in audio-video formats -- news, interviews, features and news analysis, they said in a statement.

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The statement -- signed by Editors' Council President Mahfuz Anam and General Secretary Dewan Hanif Mahmud -- comes following the remarks of Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud recently.

After a meeting with the leaders of the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) at the Secretariat on June 8, Hasan Mahmud said the newspapers in their declaration were not allowed to hold talk-shows and show videos on their websites. Streaming news through IPTVs also goes against the government's policy.

He also said that the government will take actions soon against the newspapers that hold talk-shows and show videos on their websites. In the meeting, ATCO demanded enforcement of law to stop such activities by the IPTVs and daily newspapers' websites.

The Editors' Council said it thinks that the advancement of newspapers lies in the combination of print and digital platforms because the newspaper industry is globally facing new challenges due to the digital revolution.

The Bangladesh government has also introduced the process of "Registration for Online News-portal" for the newspapers under the National Online Media Policy-2017 (Amended-2020), considering the importance of digital platforms. Already, the government has approved more than a hundred online news portals, including online editions of the newspapers, the statement said.

It said the government is committed to the building of IT-based Digital Bangladesh. Though print media is the last resort of readers, the government needs to take into consideration the web portals of the print media and social media with equal importance in the age of digital revolution.

Therefore, it is now necessary for the daily newspapers to present news interpretation, analysis, research and opinions through online or social media. The Editors' Council thinks that there is no scope for creating any debate over presenting digital contents in the online platforms of the newspapers.