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The Financial Express

bdnews24.com celebrates 15 years of unwavering journey


bdnews24.com celebrates 15 years of unwavering journey

The full stop is probably the most essential punctuation mark in writing. About half of all punctuation marks used in writing are full stops. It terminates a sentence and gives clarity to writing, but it also means a complete cessation.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi, who built bdnews24.com from the ground up with a young team 15 years ago, reminded his colleagues of their roles in the newsroom and beyond as Bangladesh’s largest news publisher stepped into a new day.

 “It’s a 24/7 newsroom. And there will be no full stops,” the editor-in-chief said on Saturday, as he scooped up a slice of the giant anniversary cake, surrounded by colleagues from all departments.

Khalidi, a former BBC journalist, took cues from “No Full Stops in India”, a book written by Mark Tully, another BBC journalist, on the human realities of life beyond the confines of full stops.

Khalidi’s vision reflects the world of news guided by ethical practices but unshackled by external factors.

The journalist, who led the journey of Bangladesh’s journalism into the dot-com era, criticised the media for providing wrong information in the dangerous race to publish stories first.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi, who built bdnews24.com from the ground up with a young team 15 years ago, reminded his colleagues of their roles in the newsroom and beyond as Bangladesh’s largest news publisher stepped into a new day. Toufique Imrose Khalidi, who built bdnews24.com from the ground up with a young team 15 years ago, reminded his colleagues of their roles in the newsroom and beyond as Bangladesh’s largest news publisher stepped into a new day.“We have ignorance, we have illiteracy. Newsrooms are packed with untrained people; then there’s a culture of wrongdoing and the dominance of black money.”

Khalidi cited a Facebook post by an unknown person who praised bdnews24.com for staying away from the allure of black money at a time when the Bangladeshi media largely survives on black money. “One of them made an exception. It survived without black money despite its struggle.”     

The editor-in-chief remembered the contribution of bdnews24.com to exemplary journalism in Bangladesh through events that have become mixed memories now.

 “It’s actually a near-epic full of happiness and sorrow. We had happy moments, festivities and victories. And there were many cases of pushback and reprisals. We held our ground and tried to resist wrongdoing.”   

 “We came out victorious most of the time. It has made us stronger. It has increased our mental strength.”

The bdnews24.com newsroom recently resumed in-person operations at full capacity after months of virtual presence of the workers mostly from home. Health guidelines are still followed strictly as the coronavirus pandemic has not ended yet. Celebrations in 2020 were also scaled down.

LIGHT UP, SHINE BRIGHT

October 23 is not only bdnews24.com’s anniversary, it is also the day when Bangladesh’s online news publishing began its journey with the first 24/7 as-it-happens services.

It had all begun in early 2005. Then known simply as BDNEWS, it had worked as a news agency for the other media outlets. It became the first media outlet to ever operate over the internet in Bangladesh. The other agencies were still using teleprinters to supply news.

In 2006, the new management led by Khalidi brought sweeping changes to the news publisher. The 24/7 journey began in a new form.

The staff of bdnews24.com celebrate its 15th anniversary at a homely newsroom event. The staff of bdnews24.com celebrate its 15th anniversary at a homely newsroom event.bdnews24.com has earned plaudits for introducing many firsts as a digital news provider, including mobile sites and breaking news SMS alerts. The bilingual newspaper is also the first Bangla internet news media. It launched the first Bangla website run by child journalists.

As Khalidi spoke to his colleagues in the newsroom on Saturday, a string of candle lights shone bright. He pointed to one of them and said, “Darkness will come, and we will shine a light.”

Some of the staff members brought along their families. Several child journalists of bdnews24.com’s Hello came with their parents.

The newsroom "without a full stop" became a place for sharing memories as the attendees savoured delicious food. A raffle draw was also held, reports bdnews24.com.

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