DHAKA: It was Fall, Sept 28, last Sunday, when a group of Toronto Bangladeshi Canadian civil citizens, the editors of local ethnic media and community support service agencies gathered in Toronto Bangladeshi Parents Advisory Committee(TBPAC) and partner agency, Ontario(Canadian certified and experienced) Bangladeshi Educators Community Support Service(OBECSS) office in Scarborough ward 35 or TDSB ward 18.
The officials mutually appreciated one another for collaboration via local community agencies and local media to serve 100000+ Bangladeshi Canadians and deshi people outside of Canada or other communities in Canada.
The distinguished participants from local Cdn-Bgd ethnic media and community agencies were- Khorshed Alam, Probashi Kontho editor, Shahidul Islam, Bangla Mail and Bengali Times editor, Shariful Islam, Weekly Jogajog editor, Imam Uddin, President of Bengali Information and Employment Service, Kamal Uddin Sarker, Director of Ontario Bangladeshi Educators Community Services, ASM Kibria, Director of Ontario Bangladeshi Educators Community Services, Kamal Ahmed, senior editor of Songbad News, Bangladesh, Abul Kalam Azad, VP, OBECSS, Towhid Noman, President of OBECSS and Coordinator of TBPAC worked as moderator of the meeting.
Two out of nine participants joined on the same day coming ahead, signing the attendance and submitting their opinions on the meeting agenda items.
The moderator of the meeting is well recognised in ethnic Bangladeshi-Cdn, Asian-Cdn, muslim Cdn and mainstream Canadian community by the following nominations or awards for his selfless community contributions: 1. Nomination for National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada Award 2014 for Distinguished Contribution to Cdn Multiculturalism and Publications for their Media Contribution to the Cause of Equity and Social Justice; 2. Top 75 Canadian Immigrants 2014 sponsored by RBC; 3. Receiver of 2012 Canadian University of Western Ontario Alumni Award of Merit for Outstanding Community Service; 4. 2012 Difference Making Canadian Hero Award from Network International Care and Services; 5. Receiver of 2010 Ontario Bengali Cultural Society’s Award for Extensive Advancement Of The Community & Its Programs; 6. Receiver of 2006 Newcomer Settlement Award from Ontario Citizenship ; 7. 2006 Winner of Outstanding Community Service Award from Canadian Multicultural Council of Asians 8. Nomination for 2009 Ontario Newcomer Champion Award
The Moderator started the meeting by agenda items introducing the discussion of the history of Bangladeshi printed and telecommunication public or private media better progress in last 20 years after 43 years of independent Bangladesh.
He said, "While our homeland Bangladeshi and foreign ethnic media industry is progressing slowly, our media quality is still low by international standards and more than 50% reporters are unprofessional without enough education in media and journalism but coming from other discipline."
There are similar problems with media industries of neighbouring South Asian countries like Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.
Mr. Noman threw two major questions or concerns to the panel of guest leaders from the local media and community agencies:
1. What are the social responsibilities of local ethnic media and community support agencies to serve local Canadian community before serving global community maintaining media and social work ethics?
2. What are the problems and differences to work for local ethnic media as editors, producers comparing to back home media and what are the best solutions?
The panel of attending young and old editors(all names mentioned above) and community leaders based on open public meeting invitation got 5-10 minutes to share their input of opinions and suggestions to the above 2 questions which are listed below:
1. There is a difference between working for media in homeland and media in Canada.
2. The media job is thankless without any appreciation from readers and community.
3. Local ethnic Media has financial crises as the publisher solely depends on the commercials.
4. Lack of media expertise.
5. Similar to situation in Bangladesh, other discipline graduates, rather than media and journalism graduates, editing and publishing the media in real life.
6. There is no press commission or watchdog for yellow journalism media.
6. There is press club in Toronto for 7 printed and 3 broadcasting media and there is lack of unity and collaboration.
7. There is no press institute for Bangladeshi or Asian ethnic media staff.
8. Bgd-Cdn Media editors are divided by homeland's 2 major political grouping.
9. Few media and their columnists write columns or produce news stories with enough sources.
10. Proof reading is done professionally.
12. Young generation born and raised here are not involved and there is not at all or any English pages in Bangla media or no Bangladeshi media in English language.
Finally the Moderator wrapped up and analysed the problems of our homeland's media and local limited ethnic media industry problems with the following points as major concerns based on watching talk show "Tritiya Matra or Third Dimention" from Bangladeshi TV "Channel I" where the guests Naimul Islam, editor of Amader Shomoy, Bangladeshi Daily printed media and a psychology professor pointed the following issues :
1. There is no public and private funding for media research and development
2. There is no public and private press commission to find bogus media and bogus reporters who do reporting without education in journalism
3. There is no policy, procedure and protocol by industry or telecommunication ministry to train the reporters who come from not journalism but other disciplines
4. Psychology is not part of all professional education in Bangladesh
5. There is no media watchdog for yellow journalists and reporters and their media
We need our govt. and private media industry to open more original but not bogus training Institutes to train our reporters who lack in professionalism.
As a matter of fact if we can solve the above issues by both public and private media industries partnership developing our media staff quality by
1. Launch Press Club and Media Commission as Watch dog to stop yellow journalism;
2. Launch own Media Institute or join local Canadian media and journalism courses; diploma or degree programs;
3. Mentor (by old media professionals) or encourage younger or next generation to study media and journalism and join both mainstream Canadian and own ethnic media;
4. Civic engage our viewers and try for CRTC license and public funding from federal Cdn govt. to run our own radio and television program;
5. Get our young readers more involved by motivational declaring of writing contest, educational awards-scholarships (Desher Alo and OBECSS-TBPAC have been doing so for 9 years)
BDST: 1636 HRS, SEP 29, 2014