Draft report by Florus Geraedts on visit with Elias kanchon to Dinajpur Press Club,Sunday 10 January
January 11, 2016, 12:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Elias Kanchon and Florus Geraedts have met members of Dinajpur Pressclub Sunday 10 january 2016 from 5 pm till 7.15 pm in Dinajpur Pressclub Building. Minnat and Lutful informed us about members of Pressclub to meet like Doctor Golam Gaus Mintu and Dulal. We discussed the meaning of information in Bangladeshi culture and society, as well as in govenments functioning or govenments working. Information in Bangladesh is often politeness: your guest is welcome an should NOT be bothered by LONG journeys. So you cannot say “it will take 5 hours travelling”. You just say “it’s 2 hours travelling”. This is not misinforming the guest, but a token of politeness and respect for your guest. That you want him NOT to bother about the LONG distance for travelling. But this attitude of politeness is a problem in a government setting when proper information is needed for otherwise proper and useful planning becomes impossible. Planning and organizing public services and maintainment  of roads and sewerage systems is impossible without reliable information. Information is found in ARCHIVES! But Bangladesh has a weak tradition on building and maintaining ARCHIVES.

Information also should reach the WHOLE people of a state / society. But elite in Bangladesh hardly has any idea about what general people think and want. In this respect the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) of 2009 (legal basis of the Right To Know of each Bangladeshi citizen) is an important step forward. Journalists are professionally spoken, real experts on information: why needed? What is information’s influence on man’s behavior and concern, as well as opinion? Archives should be discussed locally: what does information, as well as archives mean in LOCAL community?

Here the Pressclub is a real useful tool: a pressclub is a kind of local parliament so to say. An informal meeting-  and discussion platform for journalists and other socially involved and concerned persons. Bangladeshi local communities do have hundreds of local Pressclubs. This instrument is most helpful in public thinking and public debate. In this area the Right To Information and the Right To Know , which NEEDS Archives Management and  easily accessible archives, are the main and central issue.

We hope to cooperate between Pressclub Dinajpur and Friends of Archives Bangladesh (FAB), Bangladesh Archives and Right To Information Community Kishoreganj (BARTICK) and Bangladesh Archives & Records Management Society (BARMS), as well as the National Archives of Bangladesh.

Participants were: Shamim Reza, journalist of Daily Dainik Janatha; Morshedul Rahman, journalist of OnlineNews; Asad Ullah Sarkar, Prothom Alo; Golam Nobi Dulal, TV Somoy.



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