The Financial Express


How far effective is the media?

How far effective is the media?

It has been more of a common practice on the part of the aggrieved section of people to approach the newsmen to vent their grievances, if there is any. They have a feeling if the media prints or airs the problems they are facing, there could be some remedial actions on the part of the relevant authorities.

There has not been any survey until now how effective the media is in solving the popular issues. Democratic governments in the developed countries are quite sensitive to anything published in the media concerning their citizens' problems, civic or otherwise. But things are altogether different in this part of the world. Everything depends on the sweet will of the government. In some cases, they tend to act promptly, watching closely the public mood. At times, official actions come very late, after the problems becoming very difficult.

The government's response to credible media reports on myriad issues is largely dependent on some vital factors such as good governance, transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, few governments, during all these years since independence have been serious in nourishing those elements. All the institutions that could help ensure the presence of these factors at all levels have been either allowed to weaken or, in some cases, kept from playing their due role over the years.

That what is reported in the media, on occasions, gets sidelined is evident from a recent decision on the reappointment of two individuals to the posts of managing directors in two service-based organisations -- one in Dhaka and other in Chattogram.

The person chosen to head the first one will be serving his sixth consecutive terms and the second managing director his fourth term in a row.

Both the individuals had hit the news headlines on several occasions for their alleged inefficiency, corruption and highhandedness. Even the higher court purportedly had issued contempt rule against the DWASA MD in January this year.

Allegations have it that the DWASA board meeting has endorsed the reappointment of the current MD despite controversy.

The way the ministry of local government, rural development and cooperatives approved the reappointment to top positions of the two service-based organisations again proved that it gives a short shrift to popular sentiment echoed in the media.

What is likely is that the latest reappointments could make the two individuals more intransigent. Besides, others exercising authorities at different levels of administration and state agencies would get a different message from this type of reappointment.

Maybe, what is said and published in the media is not at all true. But when allegations do come one after another against certain individuals, it becomes incumbent upon the government to examine the genuineness of the allegations. The government should have conducted necessary probe into the allegations surfaced from time to time. If these two officials were found clean, none would object to their reappointment. But the act of ignoring any 'misgiving' does not go well with what the people aspire most -- good governance.



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