A study conducted by MRDI on 141 readers from different age groups in seven divisional towns shows that only 14 percent of the respondents find published or broadcast news items in the media fully believable.
Around 58 percent of them said the contents of some news items aroused suspicion while 24 percent said they somewhat believed those, it said. None of them, however, said that they did not find any news item absolutely unbelievable.
Funded by Unicef, the Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI), a non-government organisation, yesterday revealed the study at a seminar on "news sense and readers' perception" at Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB).
The study comprised of questionnaire survey on 141 respondents, focus group discussion among 66 participants, interviews of 35 specialists and views exchange meetings with 60 people including policy makers, politicians, civil society representatives, journalists, youths and guardians.
The study also revealed that 27 percent readers found most news items are published without due verification and lack their source while 49 percent noticed that the items only mention “reliable source”.
Presenting the study, Hasibur Rahman, executive director of MRDI, said majority of the readers cannot put their trust in the media for news due to authenticity of its source.
Regarding child-friendliness of news contents, the study found that 65 percent of the readers believe that the contents are prepared without considering children. Of them, 24 percent thought children are considered sometimes while 11 percent thought it is done most of the time.
Speaking as the chief guest, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said, “News on children and women must get the priority.” He called upon journalists to practice ethical journalism and work for the people's wellbeing.
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Rezaul Haque said the media should always play a responsible and careful role during publishing any news since the commission collects news items on human rights violations from the media.
Former DU vice chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique said reading newspapers could be added as a course of study in schools. PIB Director General Shah Alamgir and UNB Executive Editor Reaz Ahmad also spoke among others.