As a part of Strengthening Ethnic Communities Access’ to Informational in Bangladesh (SECAIB) project Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha and implementing agencies(i.e. Ashika Manabik Unnayan Kendra and Eco development) have jointly organized a day long regional level journalist conference on 22nd April 2014 at Ashika Manabik Unnayan Kendra Conference Hall in Rangamati. The conference was supported by United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director of Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha Chaired the conference. Mr. Biplab Chakma, Executive Director of Ashika, Mr. Sunil Kanti Dey, President, Rangamati Press club, Mr. Jiten Barua, President, Khagrachari Press club, Md. Jahurul Alam, President, Khagrachari Journalist follow up committee and vice-president Khagrachari Press club, Mr. Hari Kishor Chakma, Rangamati senior reporter, Daily Prothom Alo and Md. Faridur Alam, Senior Journalist from Bandarban hill district attended the conference. There are around 50 journalists attended the said conference from different Upazila(sub-district) and Districts.
The focus objectives of the conference;
· To establish a network among CHT local Journalists to advocate and act as watchdog in implementation of RTI and their common rights,
· To draft goals, structure and future activities of the network.
Firstly Mr. Sunil Kanti Dey, President Rangamati press club, expressed his joy and happiness for being one of the participants of the conference as well as thanked the organisers for such a wonderful arrangement. He requested to all participants to pray one minute keeping silent for their respected colleagues late Mr. Soilen Dey, a senior journalist of Dailly Ajadi for his departed soul.
Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director, Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha, discussed the objectives of the conference and annual project achievements. He shared that through this project about 90 journalists were trained on RTI act 2009 focusing objectives of training to advocate in RTI issues and play role or act as watchdog in implementing RTI issues and formed a follow up committee to follow up the activities of the journalist who were participated and received Training of Trainers(TOT). I think the follow up committee is successful for their assigned duties and responsibilities. So, I would like to thank to the committee for their hard work and cooperation. And we also declared award and certificates for the contribution of informative reporting on RTI. Today we are going to bestow awards and certificates to the journalist who are successful in best informative reporting. Now, I hand over the micro phone to conduct the open discussion session to form a network of CHT journalist.
Mr. Sunil Kanti dey, President, Rangamati press club, briefed regarding RTI issues and significance of CHT journalists network. He said that I believed most of the journalist feels the necessity of forming journalist’s network in CHT but due to some constraint we cannot come up in a platform. I had sit together in several times to establish a network but did not it owing to some misunderstanding and communication gap between senior and junior journalist. He also shared that it is not necessary to give priority senior journalist to form the network. It should be given priority who are interested and who can give time. This is an opportunity to us to establish a journalist network in CHT and we should utilise it. So I am requesting all of you to think constructively and liberally to do that. At least we should start it is my opinion and requesting all of you to sharing yours opinion.
Mr. Shantimoy Chakma, Rangamati Correspondent, Daily Star said that I have received training on RTI. It is mostly important for journalists. He also shared that I am some confused about the formation of journalist network, is it possible or not to form committee of CHT journalists Network because of most of the senior journalists are not present in the conference. I think it should take sufficient time to establish network and it takes time to prepare constitution for network.
Mr. Satrong Chakma, Correspondent, Daily Somokal said that it is our top priority and necessity to establish a network for journalist because we are deprive by others.
Mr. Jiten Barua, President, Khagrachari press club said that it should be formed CHT journalists Network to be familiar with right to information and it is also essential for people’s empowerment, ensuring transparency, accountability as well as promoting good governance in CHT. It is very important to establish the journalist’s network in CHT as soon possible for greater interest of the journalist.
Md. Jahurul Alam, President, Journalist follow up committee, Khagrachari and Vice-President, Khagrachari press club, said that if we start after that it will be shaped a platform for journalist then we can be continued by ourselves.
Most of the Journalists shared their opinions that are attended in the conference. All of them are agreed and decided to establish CHT Journalist network for their future. During the conference one Adhoc committee is made consist of 9(nine) members as follows;
- Convener- Mr. Sunil Kanti Dey
- Member Secretary- Mr. Jiten Barua
- Member – Md. Faridul Alam
- Member-Md. Harunur Rasid
- Member-Mr. Santimoy Chakma
- Member –Mr. Sanjoy Borua
- Member –Mr. Usathoai Marma
- Member- Md. Joharul Alam
- Member- Md. Abu Taher
Prize giving ceremony:
For the duration of the conference, TUS awarded among journalist giving certificates and prizes for best informative reporting on electronics, online and print media journalist. Three types of journalists participated in the competition. Mr. Satrong Chakma correspondent, Daily Somokal and Md. Faridul Alam, Reporter, Ekushe TV won the best informative reporting award. Md. Shahajahan Kabir Saju, correspondent, Daily Purbakon, Md. Abdul Halim, correspondent, Daily Naya Dighanta, and Mr. Nazrul Islam, reporter, Chanel 24 won prizes.
Mr. Sunil Kanti Dey, President, Rangamati press club, Mr. Jiten Barun, President, Khagrachari press club, Md. Jahurul Alam, President Khagrachari journalist follow up committee and Mr. Hari Kishor Chakma ware in board of judges. Mr. Ripan Chakma, Executive Director, TUS, Mr. Biplab Chakma, Executive Director, Ashika, Mr. Sunil Kanti Dey, President, Rangamati press club, Mr. Jiten Barun, President, Khagrachari press club, Md. Jahurul Alam, President Khagrachari journalist follow up committee were given the prizes and certificates among the best informative reporters.
The conference brought a new thing to the Journalist in CHT which is very must related to their profession as well as their rights. Through the conference the journalist learn about their rights and realize that except being united and network they will never enable themselves to sustain in the competitive world. The conference also created a bridge between three hill districts Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati which can be considered one the strength for the journalist to promote their rights. Overall, a daylong conference has been carried out successfully. Through this even TUS achieved all targeted plan of the project successfully. The Executive Director of Trinamul Unnayan Sangstha close the conference by giving closing speech and thanked to all of journalists for being attend, giving time and cordially sharing their opinions.