Netra News- Is it a Textured Platform of the Vested Corners?

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Feature Desk

In the recent months, some of the news and publications of Netra News have created controversy those are questioning its credibility and acceptance of people. The pattern of those news gets initiated through some fabricated and prejudiced information without much of reliable proofs or references. Sometimes the dramatic presentation of those fabricated proofs influences the general people to believe on those. According to the pattern of those news, the general mass, specially the youths generate misconception about the Government and people starts protesting on the street and different form of media. It causes the regular Government machineries unnecessarily concerned while getting involved in the development activities. Not only that, it causes huge negative image of the country; sometimes it obliges the Government answerable to various United Nation agencies and other friendly countries.

In the name of investigative news, Netra News continues their pattern of news initiation. All they need are- a renowned figure and some of his personal stuffs or events. Recently, Netra News generated a story alleging a renowned politician who has a collection of luxury watches from brands including Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and Ulysse Nardin, although the subject politician received those watches as gifts. In January 2020, Netra News published a report accusing another politician with a claim that as a candidate of mayoral elections, he failed to disclose ownership of a foreign company in his affidavit to the Election Commission of Bangladesh. Following the publication of the report, a former justice of Supreme Court of Bangladesh, filed a petition to the high court challenging his candidacy. However, the high court rejected the petition and allowed him to contest in the election. On March 2020, Netra News published a leaked preliminary research report prepared by a group of Bangladeshi and U.S. based researchers predicting that Bangladesh faced up to 0.5 million deaths in the COVID-19 crisis without government interventions. On March 2020, Netra News leaked a United Nations interagency memo, which predicted up to 2 million deaths in Bangladesh from COVID-19 in a “No-Intervention” scenario. Bangladesh’s foreign minister, AK Abdul Momen, alleged the fact that the UN prepared such a memo was “a total violation of the UN charter.”

The above examples display a pattern of the working style of Netra News. The ultimate motive and intention of their news possibly serve different purposes. Because, almost every time their proofs of the initial allegations are fabricated or unnecessarily projected and it appears that they are generating such news to attract the attention of some particular group of people. Normally the target group of these type of news react very quickly which are enough for creating instability and defamation of the country.

Netra News is run by a grant provided by the NED[1]. It is a project under Bangladesh Media Network, which is overseen by an organizational board comprising Kerstin Brunnberg (president), a prominent Swedish journalist, Australian academic Bina D’Costa (secretary), and Dan Morrison (treasurer), an American journalist[2]. It is published in both English and Bangla. Mr. Tasneem Khalil acts as its editor-in-chief, while David Bergman, who has extensively worked in Bangladesh, is the editor of its English version.

The organization provides funds to Netra News, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a non-profit soft power organization that was founded in 1983 with the stated goal of promoting democracy[3]. Although NED appears to be created with a good intention, there are criticisms also; it has been said that NED is nothing more than a costly program to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad[4]. NED does their activities through its recipient organizations by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). It injects “soft money” into the domestic elections of foreign countries in favor of one party or the other. According to NED, It is “promoting democracy.”[5] However, some critics call it as pro-war corporate interests using the smokescreen of “Promoting Democracy”.

Tasneem Khalil’s Netra News is being badly exploited by the vested corners. According to Tasneem’s explanation, he had to come across some bad experiences during his stay in Bangladesh by some security forces agencies, should he work against the interest of the country? Although, under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is developing very fast and a strong reputation of this country has been created in the United Nations, some weird folks woofing shouts will not be able to obstruct the momentum. Sometimes it really hurts; how people like Tasneem Khalil are getting sold for their personal interest and they are after our hard earned motherland Bangladesh.



[1] Bangladesh blocks Sweden-based news website Netra News, .
[1] Netra News, .
[1] NED, .
[1] National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America, .
[1] National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America, .
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