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রবিবার, ০৯ অগাস্ট ২০২০, ০৮:৪৬ পূর্বাহ্ন

To Be a Reporter…

প্রতিবেদকের নাম:
  • প্রকাশের সময়: রবিবার, ১ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৯

Basir Jamal : It was in 1995, when I worked for a Bangla daily named Al-Mujadded; while distributing assignment, feature Editor of that daily Mahfuz Siddiqui would often  say, “A Reporter should not fail to carry out the assignment given to him, even before his death. If the messenger of death Hazrat Azrail (A.) comes to you with death warrant, you will request him  giving a little bit time for finishing your task.”

Why did he (Mahfuz Siddiqui) say like this? In reply to this question, he told me, “Work of a newspaper can never be suffered by anybody. Those who are working at any newspaper, he or she can’t show any excuse that creates any obstacle in publishing the newspaper.”

Mr. Mahfuz Siddiqui, when he was the editor of Weekly Chitrali, also would give such advice to other journalists for making their mind. In journalism, there is no scope to keep current work for the next day. A Journalist or a Reporter has to finish work within the deadline.  There is a proverb, “time and tide waits for none.” So, news doesn’t wait for time. Whenever information creates, You collect it for preparing the news story. It is noted that a news is always something a new. It is a vital point or characteristics of the news. A Journalism expert wrote, “Journalism is information. It is communication. It’s the events of the distilled into a few words, sounds or pictures, processed by a mechanics of communication to satisfy the human curiosity of a world that is always eager to know what is new.’ (Source: Journalism by David Wain right, A. H. Allen, London. P-1). So, the sense of time is necessary to be a journalist.

Before going into details on the topic, I would like to share something from 20-year experiences of my journalistic carrier with my respectable and beloved colleagues. I think that will be useful for those who eager to be a good and perseverance journalist.

Jointly organised by Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) and  Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU), at a training camp titled `How to make a report, take an interview and cover a press conference’, veteran journalist Ataus Samad delivered a lecture by saying, a journalist specially a reporter should follow the characteristics feature of a beggar, as he or she will have to beg information like a beggar. A reporter has to move from door to door for collecting the news. He or she must go to the news source time to time, even the sources refuse him. he said,  “If you are  ashamed by the behavior of the source, you aren’t eligible to be a good journalist; rather you can look for another suitable profession”.

In relation, I would like to mention here that what Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of the online news portal bdnews24.com, pointed out saying ‘My point is, you don’t get into a job that you don’t enjoy. Don’t be a journalist if you don’t have passion for it. It is not just like any other job.’

He explained, “If something big happens, you have to be there even in the middle of the night or after a long stressful day,”

He, at the ‘Meet the Editor’ programme organised by the Media Studies and Journalism Department of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) on March 3, 2016, said, “If you’re hoping to attend family dinner every time, journalism is not your profession. If you are not prepared to miss your favorite niece’s birthday party, journalism is not the right choice for you.”

(Source : Be prepared to face challenges before becoming a journalist, bdnews24.com03 March 2016, link : http://bdnews24.com/media-en/2016/03/03/be-prepared-to-face-challenges-before-becoming-a-journalist-bdnews24.com-chief-editor-tells-ulab-students)

Ataus Samad, served as the editorial adviser to the Amar Desh, said to me, “before submittin news story to the chief reporter or the news editor, you must recheck and cross-check whether any more information for the story is required. You don’t make your report without confirmation of accuracy of the information you gathered’.”  I saw that when he was editing news, he asked the concerned reporter about the accuracy of news. He used to emphasize whether the information in the news was accurate or not. During the editing he would play a role like an investigation officer.

 Meanwhile, whenever Syed Abdal Ahmed, chief reporter of the Amar Desh, sent reports to Ataus Samad for editing, he would tell us jokingly, “I am sending you to remand.” He would joke, but he, really, sent a reporter on remand. Ataus Samad sir would never stop the queries of accuracy of the report until he is satisfied. He would ask the questions to the reporter one after another. So, the information you gathered must be confirmed by checking and cross-checking.

It is important that a journalist may make mistake, but cannot distort the information. Speaking before students of the ULAB journalism department, Toufique Imrose Khalidi also said,    “I admit that we also make mistakes…But none can have right to distort information. Information cannot be published without checking.”

He also mentioned, `Accuracy is the key to a news story. If you are not accurate, you lose your credibility. There cannot be any excuse … I had a deadline to meet … the format was different … nothing spares you from disgrace, ignominy. I don’t want to be first all the time…I don’t mind being second but accurate all the time.”

(Source : Be prepared to face challenges before becoming a journalist, bdnews24.com, 03 March 2016, link : http://bdnews24.com/media-en/2016/03/03/be-prepared-to-face-challenges-before-becoming-a-journalist-bdnews24.com-chief-editor-tells-ulab-students)

Now I draw the attention on how a reporter will make report from the speech of a speaker. Will we compose the words just as the speaker spoke? Replying to this question, Martin Huckerby-a world famous editorial consultant said at a training camp titled “Parliament Reporting” organised by the UNDP in Dhaka that a reporter cannot merely paste the copy of what speaker spoke. Martin said, `As a reporter you should write of what speaker wants to say. Then you quote him as how does he or she deliver the speech.’ Another trainer of the programme prominent journalist Farid Hossain of AP, said, “a Reporter can not work as the Postman does . With accurate information, a reporter can make news story.”###

# This article has been published in ‘Reporters Voice’- a newsletter of Dhaka Reporters Unity 

  • Writer: Senior Vice President, Dhaka Union oF Journalists
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