The News Network offers a better
knowledge of Bangladesh
NewsNetwork is an atypical feature news agency. It differs from traditional news agencies or wire services in many ways. While traditional wire services deal with breaking news and instant information, NewsNetwork seeks to take the readers more into the depth of subjects and issues like democracy, human and civil rights, education, justice and empowerment of women that affect the people of Bangladesh. We have strived to create an alternative process of news-gathering and distribution that differs from the typical news organisations in many ways. A typical news agency concentrates more on breaking news than analysing the events and telling about the people involved. We write about the context of the events and their backgrounds, and try to tell readers what these events mean to them. We are involved in writing people's stories. Our job does not end in dissemination of news. What makes us different from others is that we create journalists, especially women reporters who are trained to look beyond the surface and dig deeper into a subject. We conduct fellowships for female news writers and journalists. We travel out of the capital city to small towns to conduct media workshops for local journalists so they write more about the issues that affect the people of Bangladesh and seek the truth with greater skills.
NewsNetwork makes news meaningful to people. There is a gap between news and its understanding by the people. We seek to bridge the information gap. We train journalists to take up more investigative journalism and news feature stories. Run by a group of dedicated professionals, NewsNetwork has made its mark in Bangladesh and abroad, where it has entered into cooperation with similar news organisations.
Launched in June 1994, NewsNetwork has grown into popular house for journalists - mainly for young women who want to become journalists and writers. Since its inception, Shahiduzzaman, founder editor of the NewsNetwork, has brought together a group of new generation journalists and writers who are committed to a cause: to expose what is wrong in the society and encourage those who are trying to bring about a change. It has begun its modest journey with financial assistance from the Ford Foundation, an internationally reputed donor agency and since then it has attracted similar support from SDC, CIDA, Netherlands Embassy, The World Bank, DIAKONIA, NORAD, DANIDA and The American Center.
NewsNetwork prepares news analysis and graphics and conducts studies/surveys on different issues, mostly on environment, democracy, human rights, women and children's issues. The agency carries out interviews of important personalities on issues of national, regional and international importance. Each item is written both in English and Bengali and released to the national dailies and weeklies. Major Bengali-and-English-language dailies subscribe items from the agency. It has foreign partners too. In 1997, NewsNetwork signed an exchange programme with Women Feature Service (WFS), a New Delhi-based international news-feature agency.
NewsNetwork runs regular training programmes aimed at improving the writing skills of the country's journalists. In doing so it specially encourages women to take up journalism as a career.
In addition to training workshops, NewsNetwork runs fellowship programmes for university graduates on journalism. During the six-month fellowship programme, the fellows work as interns of journalism.
Objectives of the agency
? Promote and practice non-partisan, objective journalism.
? Identify problems facing present-day Bangladesh society.
? Skill development of the journalists.
? Report on activities in the development field, by both government agencies and non-government organisations.
? Report on issues related to human resource development, including questions of human rights and gender equality.
? Reflect public opinion on important issues through surveys based on scientific methodologies.
? Reflect national and international viewpoints on the process of poverty alleviation and struggles of the poor for economic progress.
? Conduct special dialogues or discussion meetings with policymakers and opinion leaders on issues of national importance.
In pursuing these objectives, NewsNetwork seeks to make a real impact on the information market in Bangladesh. The agency believes it's possible to establish itself as a credible vendor of high-grade information in the forms of reports, features, interviews or surveys. In this business, we seek truth and write about it objectively - not being influenced by any quarter. We work for truth and live by truth.