Media in Bangladesh and use of ICT
[This article is based on personal experience and observation and giving an overview on the ICT use of Media in Bangladesh.]
Media is a word that contains the list of communication tools, which include Leaflets and Flyers, Books and Billboards, Presentation materials, Newspapers, Televisions, Radio, News Agencies and Services, Web Portals, Cinema and many more. In other words, media represent the mass media as a whole.
In this article, the word Media is representation a limited area that includes Newspapers and Periodicals, News Agencies and Services, Radio and Televisions and Web Portals.
ICT is a word that elaborates Information and Communication Technology. The word Telecommunication is a built in phenomenon in ICT which includes broadcast technology as well. As technology, ICT is most modern where silicon chips are the basic. For user Computers of various generations and versions are the tools of ICT use.
In Bangladesh, under the category media, Newspaper and Periodicals, News Agencies, and Broad Media that is Radio and Television exist with adequate financial and social power. Newspaper is the oldest and Web Portals of various news organizations and Web newspapers are the latest.
The history of Newspaper in Bangladesh has started from British era. At that age magazines were the mainstream publications, which were assisted by the local land lords. At the last part of British role, a handful of dailies had emerged centering Kolkata, the then capital city of Bangle. In 1947 Bangle divided in to two parts one is West Bangle, one state of India and another is Bangladesh that liberated in 1971 from Pakistan through a bloody war of independence. In 1947, when India and Pakistan were emerged in the Global map present time Bangladesh was part of Pakistan and was known as East Pakistan. A daily newspaper, The Azad, migrated from Kolkata to Dhaka and this is the beginning of the history of the newspaper of Bangladesh.
The history of the newspaper of Bangladesh could be in to two parts i.e. the pre independence era and the post independence era. There is another part of the history that is a few of newspapers were published at the time of the liberation war. So, we can tell those newspapers as wartime publications.
After the Azad a number of important newspapers appeared in the then East Pakistan those includes the Ittefaq, the Sangbad, the Bangladesh Observer, the Purbodesh, the Daily Pakistan etc. after 1971 the newspaper and periodicals were being published with a mushroom growth. 1990, the year of reestablishment of democracy after a long era of military regime, is also a demarcation line in the post independence category. There are few newspapers, now powerful, had emerged in Bangladesh media scenario with modern technique and technology. Presently Bangladesh has at least two million daily circulations in total of all publications that provide information to the 200 million people.
News agencies and services are not an old phenomenon in Bangladesh but not that much powerful in the society. The oldest one is state owned working as a mouthpiece of the government. The private sector list is not too short but mainly these news organizations are small enterprises.
Radio is also an old media in Bangladesh. Even before five years the state owned Bangladesh Beter was only radio service. Presently half a dozen FM stations are working; half of them have news bulletins. Few more FM and community Radio stations are in the line of operations.
Television is a tender age media segment of Bangladesh in comparison to the newspaper. Before 1995, only Bangladesh Television was only TV station that owned by the government. Presently a dozen of satellite Television Channels are in operation, those have news and current affairs segment and entertainment segment. . Unlike North America, where DirecTV offers * programming from several of their own satellites, almost every channel in Bangladesh is broadcast from the Telstar 10 satellite with the exception of ATN Bangla which is broadcast from Thaicom2/5. There are almost a dozens of TV companies are waiting to intervene in the infotainment market of Bangladesh.
Web newspaper is a very new idea in the realm of media. In Bangladesh the independent Web newspapers are not that much of strong in terms of finance, manpower and social impact. But the web versions of few print media are widely visited by the viewers and readers.
Newspapers papers of Bangladesh were running through hand composed printing press technology then upgraded by lino and photocompose technology and offset printing press. Presently all of the publications in Bangladesh are digitizing their scripts through desktop technology. That is why use of computer in newspaper industry is mainly as desktop publication tools. The important newspapers authorities have provided computers to all newsmen and staffs. Most of the newspapers and periodicals have computer department to digitize the manuscripts and for further technical steps. There is no use of news software in the newspaper of Bangladesh so far.
News Agencies and services are always a bit advanced technology users compared to the Newspaper industry of Bangladesh. The State owned Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha-BSS, also the largest of the country, are using computers in all desk and giving service to the subscribers through internet by using a licensed version of software. The United News of Bangladesh is also a user of modern ICT technology but there is lack of news software for newsroom management internally. They are also giving subscriber service through ICT use. ICT use by all staff is yet to be ensured in this category of media in Bangladesh.
In Television, there are two parts of technology use, one is for broadcast and another is for news and newsroom management. While broadcast is concern, all satellite TV stations of Bangladesh are using most modern technology for synchronizing with the technology of satellite service providers. Internally, for production, all television companies are using modern computers those are compatible to most modern production and special effect software. But, in newsroom management, a few are using software like octopus or software of similar standard. Most of the TV newsroom use computer for typing and printing of the script. BTV, the government owned TV, has the capacity but the company has no temptation for using modern technology any way.
Bangladesh Beter, the state owned radio service has vast capacity in terms of coverage and ability but again similar to the BTV, they are not tech shabby. Private FM radio stations are a bit more technology loving. As a matter of broadcast and production they are using technology with the compatibility of modern time. In newsroom the NEWSBOSS is the popular software in Bangladesh. But both TV and Radio are not providing computer to every desk.
Web Newspapers are not a profit making business in Bangladesh yet. It needs less investment compare to the other media category that are making few people enthusiastic to organize or build up a news organization. In Bangladesh, even there is no government policy for the web newspapers. But it could be told that this segment of Bangladesh media is using total Web technology for their operation. But there is no use of newsroom management software here.
Financial management, MIS, HR management, Compliance management and other Management including stocks and inventory are the other segments of the media organizations where ICT could be used. But in the media of Bangladesh the use of ICT for proper management is truly poor. Small accounts software are used in a very few media organizations for financial management. HR or MIS software are using by a handful.
ICT use for security is almost unknown to the media organization though it is very important for any establishment. In Bangladesh a few of newspaper and almost all Radio and TV stations are using ICT aided security system for access control and CCTV only. There is no use of other ICT based security system in Bangladesh.
As conclusion, it must be told that, for developing a system it required a cost involvement. The investors of Bangladesh, especially those who are investing in media are not keen to the total ICT use. As of observation most of the investors are mentally bared for this modern technology. Only a motivation campaign would be able to make the investors convinced for wide range use of ICT. #
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