Bangladesh struggled for its independence for a very long time. Finally it won and got back its freedom in 1971. Unfortunately there are several issues that do not enjoy basic freedom where they should. One of them is journalism. Journalism is very important in functioning a country's roles and responsibilities. However, many restrictions both legal and illegal hold back the free will of journalism.
Freedom of the press is a fundamental right of all citizens as guaranteed in the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Although in the Article 39 of the Constitution states that freedom of speech and expression and freedom of the press are not without restrictions. However, the restrictions referred to in Article 39 assume action only by law. Without legislative authority, the executive cannot place any restriction or limitations on these freedoms.
Journalism in Bangladesh does not enjoy the freedom of press due to many limitations. According to a report conducted by International Press Institute (IPI), the limitations in journalism in Bangladesh can be, 1) laws affecting media freedom; 2) journalist safety and impunity in crimes against journalists; and 3) journalism in rural areas. There are other limitations as well which will be described in the following pages.
Laws affecting media freedom:
There are many laws that inhibit the freedom of journalism. The Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) 1973 is one of the press legislations. This act defines that to become a newspaper or magazine owner or publisher, permission, declaration and registration from the government is required. A proper trade license from Municipal Corporation is a further requirement. The district magistrate may authenticate or withhold authentication of declaration on the basis of the certificate. This may inhibit the freedom to own a newspaper if the Government party or the district manager has any conflict with the owner.