IID expressed concerns over the ambiguity surrounding the national debate on National Broadcast Policy 2014 and demanded better clarification in its legal scope, explanation and future plan. The concerns were raised during a roundtable on National Broadcasting Policy 2014. The roundtable took place on 24 August 2014 at the CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka and was organised in partnership of eight institutions, including IID.
The government has approved the policy on 6 August 2014 through a Gazette Notification. IID’s CEO Syeed Ahamed raised concerns over the non-participatory nature of the policy making process since even some committee members were also not informed of the final draft that got passed in the Cabinet. He further observed that the ambiguous nature of article 5.1.5 can be misused to control media reports on cases like Narayanganj seven murder case where members of armed forces with involved. It also highlighted the need for an coordinated legal approach to address the cross-cutting nature of ICT and social media related contents which can now fall under the legal scope of a number of acts and policies including article 57 of ICT act and article 1.1 of broadcasting policy.
Partnering organisations included Article 19, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra (BNSK), Institute of Informatics and Development (IID), Mass Line Media Centre (MMC), Media Watch, Nijera Kori and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). Among others, Dr Iftekharuzzaman from TIB, Barrister Sara Hossain from BLAST, and Tahmina Rahman from Article 17 spoke at the round-table.