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More miles to go

After reading my stories at IIJ Blog, some of my friends and course mates sent e-mails to me about the scopes and present scenario of online journalism in Bangladesh. Some of them thought that there is not huge scope for online media. However, I have tried to make their idea wrong.

Almost every national newspapers of Bangladesh have gone to online. There are also a satisfactory number of media, which are based only online. The number is increasing every month. However, I wanted to say that multimedia is absent in Bangladeshi news media.

If I see from the readers’ perspective, I will say that our readers are getting all information. But those are limited to news and photos only. Media houses are not using audio, video tools to present their stories.

Language and letter-font are also barriers to attract international audience. Even I myself faced trouble to read my news at Samakal (my media house’s website) when I was in Germany. A group of foreign journalists visited the newsroom of our media house, Kaler Kantho at Dhaka in recent months. They were from USA, UK, China, Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, India and Pakistan. Most of them did not Bangla. Therefore, I had to show the web page and translated all news from Bangla to English at my presentation for them.

It was possible to show the website of our newspaper to them. But it is not possible for many of our newspapers because they offer to download their own fonts before reading any news. The reader who does not understand Bangla will not be able to download those fonts as the instruction is in Bangla word format. I recent months, I have found that some news websites have inserted that instruction (how to download font) as image format. So that is readable before starting the download process.

There are several Bangla fonts, which Bangla newspapers generally use. I read Indian Bangla newspapers at online. Sometimes I face problem for fonts.

It will be understandable for the foreign readers if every newspaper starts an option for English version for their online editions. As I have said before, Bangladeshi online newspapers have not started the use of multimedia tools like video and audio at a large scale. Internet speed and technological limitations are some how responsible for that. But as Internet speed has started to increase we will be able to see more usage of multimedia with in this year.

I have written in my previous stories and articles that readers do not find any difference between the online and print versions of newspapers. Breaking news is published at the websites as it happens.

But from my lessons of IIJ, I believe that multimedia and online journalism means something more. In recent days, I have seen that our onlines offering links and tags. This was not practiced in previous years. So something new has been implemented.

I believe that we will have go more to see the similarities with European news sites. Now there is difference between the work criteria of an online journalist and print media journalist. The stories are same. It has also started to change as I have come to know that one of friends, who works with a pure online news agency, is learning video camera operation for his online.

I also got a phone call from an Editor of the Bengali Times (Canada based online weekly Bangla newspaper) who wants to develop a multimedia news site.

Better Internet speed and interest towards the online media will change Bangladeshi news sites with in few months,

August 20, 2010 - Posted by | International, Media, National, Personal, Uncategorized | , , , ,

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