November 06, 2007

CU Bars Students from Working - Another Way to Censor the News?

No sooner had I posted the story below than this story was brought to my attention via the commenter "abarzigay" on In the Middle of Nowhere:

Chittagong University (CU) authority is likely to take action against the students who are gainfully employed. According to the recent direction of education ministry, the CU authority is going to adopt measures against those students who are engaged in jobs in violation of university act, concerned sources said.

A New Age editorial sums up the fears:

Two important factors, however, make this decision motivated rather than ensconced in absurdity. The fact that the government specifically sought to ban student-journalists implies that it was not a commitment to better education but an agenda of censorship that was the driving force behind the decision. Secondly, the university authorities evidently attempted to enforce the ban without having the decision vetted by the university’s decision-making body – the syndicate – knowing well that it would face almost unanimous opposition within that body. In these circumstances, the evidence points an accusing finger at a section within the government that, drawing strength and impunity from the Chief Adviser’s Office, resorted to a knee-jerk reaction to students at the university whose reporting was running contrary to their interests

(Emphases mine. Links tomorrow once NA is archived)

Who exactly is this section of the government? And what exactly is the state of student journalism in Bangladesh? Has CU students been running "controversial" stories lately? I'd highly appreciate comments from people in the know.

With the Dhaka media crawling on its hands and knees to lick the boots of the powers that be, it seems the attention has turned outwards from the centre.

No comments: