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Saturday, September 23, 2023

‘Role of journalism in the advancement of information technology in Bangladesh is significant’

Data Center Infrastructure Consultancy (DCiCON) with other partners organized Data Center Technologies Summit 2018 (DCtSUMMIT) at the KIB Complex, Khamarbari, Farmgate. IT specialists from different sectors participated in various sessions during the two-day summit from November 15 to 16.

During the first day of the summit on November 15, a notable session was attended by the senior journalists of renowned newspapers of the country where they talked about the progress of ICT.

Executive Editor of monthly magazine Computer Jagat Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu, senior journalist of Daily Independent Tareq Murtoza, former president of ICT journalists’ forum Kawsar Uddin and senior journalist of Dainik Sangbad Ishtiaque Hossain participated in the panel discussion which was conducted by IT analyst Ajfar Adib.

‘Our mindset and mentality have changed. ICT is not something detached or separate. Software is used to do work in journalism or sports, therefore you don’t have any reason to see ICT as something separate,” said Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu.

‘We have to be aware if we are talking about our mental setup because every business is now depended on IT. Each and every profession is somehow relevant with IT. But our problem is that we are not doing the work needed to improve the fundamental education or knowledge of IT. There are many reasons behind this. Financial investment is the most important of them. Yet a lot of changes have taken or taking place than before,’ he added.

‘Digital Bangladesh’ is the current tagline for our country. Not just IT but the entire industry is involved with the fourth industrial revolution. So in the next 10 years there will be a lot of changes in the context of IT.

Those who are in the banking sector, they also have to think about the long-term because by 2025, 50 percent of the work from the banking sector will be done by the IT sector. Then almost everything will be based on IT and work will be carried out using artificial intelligence as well. At that time there might be a lack of human resource to control these activities. We have to be careful about that. From the changes that will happen in the industry, you won’t be able to say if it will go in the front page or back page. Whether we agree or not, IT has permeated into the politics of our country. The vote casting procedure during the election is an example of that. There are both pros and cons to it. Slowly we are moving towards that direction. We hope our mindset will change at the same time.

When Tareq Murtoza was asked how challenging it will be in the IT sector in the next ten years, he said, ‘If we go back a few years, we will see that IT in Bangladesh is not like what it was in 2006 or 2007. A lot has changed. In every aspect we are fused with technology. The way our lives are moving at present, we are dependent on technology to fulfill our basic needs. The way everything is progressing, I don’t think there will any problem for ICT in the days ahead.’

‘Moreover, many who are studying journalism have not seen the practical uses of IT. There are also those who studied technology have a soft spot for journalism. There can be a synthesis in this matter. In this age which is dependent on technology, the print version is facing many questions.’

On the topic if print media will exist in the near future, Ishtiaque Hossain said, ‘Since English is in use everywhere, we should give importance to the English language. We must get rid of the fear of students. On the other hand since Bangla is our mother tongue, we should not give it less importance. If we try then we can take our language to the level like that in Japan. Then again talking about online papers, you will see that many print versions have shut down abroad. I feel that the progress of online is mostly responsible for this.’

Talking about sustainability, Anu reiterated that although ICT subjects were made compulsory in schools and colleges, not enough computer practical classes are held in many educational institutions. Almost 20 lakh students are sitting for exams. But many schools do not have any computer labs. Even they don’t have teachers to impart knowledge in many places.

‘That is why they will collect information from inner pages of newspapers and magazines and from students’ corner pages in newspapers. I think we will be able to sustain for 3-4 years as long as bandwidth doesn’t reach the rural areas. So you cannot say that print version will become extinct now but it is a huge challenge to sustain the print version with the improvement in technology.’

On the subject of information security, Kawsar Uddin said, ‘Information security is a massive subject since we can see conversations of heads of states of different countries have been made viral. It was seen many times in the case of Skype. That is why data hub is essential for our local and private information.’ ‘I feel there are two things. One is collecting or investigating information. It is quite risky but not in all cases. When you verify information you have to keep in mind that if there is any mistake then it can be damaging for many including yourself. Another thing is research. As technology improves its depth increases. You cannot find local resource when you want to do a good research and as a result it becomes quite tough to prepare a report,’ he added.

All who were in the panel expressed their optimism about the progress of ICT and said one should fix his or her goal in life before entering the university life because it will increase job skills. Many from the new generation can excel in journalism if they use technology.

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