Bangladesh Media: Caught in Censorship’s Crossfire?

December 17, 2012

By Hana Shams Ahmed

[An edited version of this article was published in the December 2012 issue of Forum magazine, The Daily Star]

media02

Wahid Adnan/DrikNEWS

Abstract

While media blackouts have been a common phenomenon in post-independence Bangladesh, and they have been seen more frequently during military regimes, it would be an error to think democratic periods grant full media freedom. However, we see that media ownership and new technology have had a larger impact on the media landscape than censorship. Newer digital media platforms have increasingly played a part in overcoming censorship where the mainstream media has failed. Although economic limitations play a part here, bloggers have started to fill a void left by the mainstream media. This paper discusses how the state has used various means to suppress media freedom, leading to violations of the rights of journalists, of rights of the people to have a free media, of rights of minority communities to be represented in the media and also the use of religion by the state to suppress free cultural/political movements.

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Not Quite a ‘Hot Girl’

July 5, 2008

by Hana Shams Ahmed
[Star Magazine, July 4, 2008]

“What’s better than a hot girl?”
“Her twin sister!”

Aisharya Ray
[Photo: http://www.celebforyou.com]
This was the obnoxious tag line that ran for an international beauty pageant for twins recently televised live all across the world. ‘Stunning pairs’ walked down the ramp, while judges and spectators scrutinised every nook and cranny of their bodies to find that ‘perfect’ pair of twins. Read the rest of this entry »