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Bangladesh: Prominent South-Asian journalists meet in Dhaka

25-10-2007 News Release 07/37

On 28 and 29 October, 22 senior editors and columnists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Dhaka to debate the topic: "Media Reporting – Armed Conflict and Violence."

During the meeting, they made presentations and conducted panel discussions with diplomats, academics and students of journalism and mass communication on issues such as the nature of contemporary conflicts, international humanitarian law, State response to terrorism, media objectivity, media responsibility and protection of members of the media.

" This was an opportunity for some public soul-searching by the region's most prominent media professionals, " said Finn Ruda, ICRC head of mission in Dhaka. " The media do not just report the news – they form opinion and this in turn influences or shapes events. We want to see the media recognize the role they can play in limiting the effects of armed conflict. "

As the guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC promotes knowledge of its provisions and monitors their implementation worldwide.

When asked about the meeting's purpose, Philippe Stoll, ICRC communication coordinator, said: " By accurately reporting on armed violence in the region and on the suffering it causes, the media can draw attention to issues that need to be dealt with at the highest levels. "

The meeting was jointly organized by the University of Dhaka's Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, the Press Institute of Bangladesh and the ICRC.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Finn Ruda, ICRC Dhaka, tel : +880 1819 410014  

 Philippe Stoll, ICRC New Delhi : +91 98 717 98 385