Identification of gaps between the corporate sector and the media is vital for initiating effective measures to bring the two players closer for better corporate governance.
Speakers at a roundtable discussion organised by the Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) in association with the Manusher Jonno on Corporate Governance: Bridging Corporate Sector and Media in the city Wednesday made this observation.
Terming media one of the most effective organs for reaching people and establishing transparency, the speakers said that media had been playing an important role in promoting good governance in the society.
Therefore, any functional linkage between the media and the corporate sector directly and through efficient public relations (PR) or mass communications (MC) personnel can be instrumental in establishing good governance and safeguarding human rights, the release added.
Chief executive officers (CEOs) from readymade garments (RMG), leather and pharmaceuticals sectors, association leaders and newspaper editors took part in the discussion.
Taking part in the discussion, Editor of The Daily Star Mahfuz Anam said capitalism and free media are yet to develop fully in Bangladesh.
He observed that an independent media was needed for free flow of authentic information in connection with the corporate governance.
He said the corporate houses often stop advertisements if any media runs adverse report which is a real obstacle to the growth of free media.
Editor of the Prothom Alo Motiur Rahman said the media should give more coverage to business news.
Speaking on the occasion, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Annisul Huq said the garment industry is now under tremendous pressure as international lobbies are asking for more and more compliance, but at the same time the buyers are offering lower prices for products.
He said a country's state of economy, political environment and government policies dictate labour standards.
He mentioned that some degree of irresponsible reporting is noticed due to a misunderstanding between the media and the corporate sector. This indicates the need for a closer link between the media and the corporate world.
In this connection, the BGMEA president called upon both the media and the corporate sector to work unitedly for the long term betterment of the society.
On the other hand, Chairman of ACI Ltd Anis ud Dowla suggested training for the journalists so that they can understand business issues. He said governance is not still properly in place in the corporate sector because of the nascent stage of industrialisation.
City Editor of the Amar Desh Shawkat Mahmud mentioned the private sector needs to make greater flower of information to ensure corporate governance.
He also stressed the need for a fair business practice watchdog that includes journalists as its members to promote corporate governance.
Speaking on the occasion, President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Fazlul Haque said more space in media is needed to promote corporate news.
Moderated by Editor of The Financial Express Moazzem Hossain, the meeting was also attended, among others, by Editor of the daily Sangbad Bazlur Rahman, News Editor of the ATN Bangla Syed Ishtiaque Reza, Managing Director of the Fortuna Group M Abu Taher, Managing Director of the Kid Leather Industry Ltd Samm. Nurudding, Director of the Lalmai Footwear Ind Ltd Iftekher Rashid, General Manager of the Phoenix Leather Complex Helal Choudhury, Distribution Manager of the BATA Shoe Co. (Bangladesh) Ltd Md. Ruhul Amin Molla, Head of Human Resource Division of the Novartis (Bangladesh) Limited Shah Mohammad Ibrahim and Manager (Corporate Affairs) Rasna Hassan.