7 TV channels sign up for ‘Prism’ video newsfeed

Leading television channels in Bangladesh will use regular video newsfeed produced by child reporters of Bangladesh’s first-ever children video news service provider ‘Prism’.

Moinul Hoque Chowdhurybdnews24.com
Published : 17 May 2016, 12:53 PM
Updated : 17 May 2016, 12:53 PM

Seven channels have signed up for packaged stories, b-rolls and story scripts from Prism, a project of bdnews24.com.

The channels are Ekattor TV, Channel i, ATN Bangla, Channel24, Desh TV, News24 and Jamuna TV.

A bdnews24.com spokesperson said five TV other stations would use Prism services.

Prism, a project supported by UNICEF, was inaugurated on Apr 10 this year.

Stalwarts in the broadcast media said they believed Prism would widen the scope for the country to be seen through the eyes of children.

Unicef Representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder

bdnews24.com Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi

A total of 105 child newsmen from Narayanganj, Gazipur, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Tangail, Netrakona and Bandarban districts have been trained to work for Prism.

UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder was present at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between representatives of the seven TV channels and bdnews24.com at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital on Tuesday.

Prism is a national platform created for vulnerable and marginalised children to strengthen their voices and air their concerns about issues they feel strongly about.

The video news service aims at making them a part of the broadcast media in order to reach policymakers with a view of promoting issues affecting children’s lives.

Beigbeder congratulated the channels that are on board for their extraordinary efforts and urged other channels to come forward to promote the wellbeing of children.

He described the event as the ‘start of making a new history’ for the children of Bangladesh in the media.

The UNICEF representative said, “There are more than 20 TV channels on air in Bangladesh and another 11 are about to go on air shortly – but not a single functioning video news agency is there.

“The children video news agency Prism is an exemplary start, something to be proud of for the children of Bangladesh.”

Beigbeder said video news stories gathered by children from across Bangladesh would be delivered on a website, accessible to all TV stations for daily news gathering.

He said UNICEF in partnership with bdnews24.com had created a space for children where they would be able to voice their concerns, share their aspirations for the future and contribute to decisions that affect their lives by suggesting solutions.

“We are hopeful that through this unique initiative, we will be able to ‘see the unseen and hear the unheard’ faces and voices of this nation, enable children to make a contribution to the children’s news agenda, and accelerate the process of upholding child rights for children in Bangladesh,” he said.

Channel I Executive Director Esrarul Haque

Ekattor TV Chief Editor and Managing Director Mozammel Haque Babu

bdnews24.com Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi, in his remarks on the occasion, thanked the TV channels for joining hands with his media outlet in the Prism initiative.

“We are proud of all our children who are at the forefront of this venture, producing content that can even put hardcore TV professionals to shame,” he said.

He highlighted the background of the Prism initiative, which has followed the success of Hello, the first news service of its kind with all output coming from 11-17-year-old child journalists trained by bdnews24.com with support from UNICEF.

“We have learnt from our experience that it is important at times to get children’s perspectives on issues,” he said.

Khalidi said, “They have done some wonderful journalistic work with Hello (hello.bdnews24.com) with exemplary dedication and professionalism.”

“Their work has led to reforms of and changes to long-standing practices, such as corporal punishment in schools or exorbitant fines for absenteeism in rural schools,” he added.

He said, “Children are actually better than us in many ways because they do their work with a level of sincerity often unmatched by their much older peers.”

Ekattor TV Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director Mozammel Haque, Desh TV Editor Sukanta Gupta Alak, ATN Bangla Chief Executive Editor ZI Mamun, News24 Head of Current Affairs Samia Rahman, Channel24 Current Affairs Editor Rahul Raha, Channel i Executive Director Esrarul Haque and Jamuna TV Senior News Editor Md Touhidul Islam were present at the MoU singing ceremony.

It was revealed at the event that Prism was aimed at having children look through their own lenses for their rights and ensure the direct participation of children in the broadcast media, which will be self-sustainable after a certain period of time and will run as a professional video news service like APTN or Reuters.

Mozammel Babu, speaking on behalf of the TV channels, offered free air time to help UNICEF raise funds for good causes.

Khalidi echoed Babu, pledging similar space on the news website.

Babu spoke of coordination and cooperation among media entities to promote and support good ventures such as Prism.

Mamun of ATN Bangla referred to his own association with children's content on two TV channels. He said children's work brought international laurels for Bangladesh, citing two instances.

Channel i's Esrarul Huq, a TV executive for 52 years, was all praise for the project and pledged support.

After the MoU singing, representatives of the broadcast media discussed the means of promoting the future of children in accordance with their aspirations.

Rahul Raha of Channel24 said Prism would help develop the intellect of children.

“We can know about children’s expectations through video news contents produced by them and can fulfil them. It (Prism) will give those eager to embark on journalism as a career and those already in the profession dignity,” he said.

Sukanta Gupta Alak of Desh TV said, “We’ll see the country through the eyes of children.”

News24 Current Affairs Editor Samia Rahman

ATN Bangla Chief Executive Editor J E Mamun

Drawing an analogy between the journalism pursued by seniors and children, he said work of child journalists would focus on their rights and the problems they face.

Samia Rahman of News24 said Prism is a good platform that will offer children the scope to work and highlight their rights and problems.

Jamuna TV Senior News Editor Md Touhidul Islam said child journalism had just moved forward by one step through the signing of the agreement.

Child journalist Sadik Evan of Hello thinks this initiative has given children a big opportunity to reach more people with what they have to offer.

After the event, he told bdnews24. com: “Mainstream media doesn’t cover child-related issues properly. These issues will come into the spotlight if TV channels run our reports and Prism’s video news.”