There is a need for an intellectual renaissance in Bangladesh. With so many television channels at work in the country today and with scores of newspapers wheeled out to the newsstands every morning, it is all the more important that steps be taken to bring more enlightenment in the lives of the people. That enlightenment can come through policies geared to a development of the mind on the part of the media.
As it happens, there are hardly any television channels that have programmes on new books or authors. In the West, it is always heartening to see books being discussed and authors being interviewed. Such discussions and interviews are always educative. Unfortunately, this sort of intellectual activity on the part of the media in Bangladesh is hardly to be seen. A very limited number of newspapers have book review sections, many of which are nothing more than gushing praise of some books and their writers. That points to another malady, which is whether there are enough objective reviewers who can safely be commissioned by the newspapers to present their analyses of new books to readers.
It is time for a change of mindsets in the media, which have so far thrived in politics-related journalism and film and theatre-related entertainment. Book discussions will likely not draw sponsors, but should that be a reason to ignore such an important and intense part of life? Must the money factor come in everywhere? Let these thoughts be pondered by those who own and lead the media, both electronic and print.
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