Bangladesh can be proud that there is no overt censorship of the media but alluded to international worry about instances of violence against journalists that could lead to self censorship.
United States (US) Charge d' Affaires Judith Chammas said this while speaking at a certificate distribution ceremony at News Network, a programme being supported by the US Embassy, in the city Monday.
"Bangladesh can be proud that there is no overt censorship of the media here, although international observers worry about instances of violence against journalists and whether this may lead to self-censorship", she said.
The US envoy said she was impressed to see the vitality of the media in Bangladesh. "There are hundreds of newspapers expressing a wide variety of opinions and a growing number of television stations".
She encouraged women in Bangladesh to pursue their career in journalism.
"Here in Bangladesh, most journalists are men, but the number of women is growing and will continue to grow as all of you find jobs," she said.
Saying that a strong press is essential to democracy, she said the US Embassy supports the training programme, an effort to support journalists and the field of journalism in Bangladesh.
Besides, she said, they send journalists to USA on their International Visitors programme and on reporting tours. Last summer Janet Steele taught journalism courses at the Dhaka University and the Independent University while in December Robert Hooper came to provide training at the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) for broadcast journalists, including many working for the new television stations.
Chammas said both the American Centre and the IRI are planning additional training programme later this year.
News Network Editor Shahiduzzaman and American Centre Director Jonathan Cebra were present on the occasion.