Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 5, Tuesday January 29 , 2008




News culture: to be hopeful or not to be…

It is true that Bangladesh has a large, illiterate population. In the face of such an unimpressive state of affairs in education, our people have an impressively wholesome knowledge and interest in the issues of the country. News is an essential item in the lives of our people no matter where they live; village, town or city. Kudos goes to the TV channels and a large number of news editors, reporters, camera crew and presenters working hard to promote news.

Whereas news is an indispensable item in all the leading channels, there is an increasing tendency amongst the channels to imitate one another and often rather conspicuously. Instead of imitating, a better solution would be to come up with newer and innovative ideas. An efficient news team will always want to work creatively. At times, all the efforts made by the production team behind the screen fail because of the poor elocution and on-screen presentation. Many private organizations claim to offer first-rate workshops by leading news personalities to the ones interested in news presentation. Nonetheless, some of the newsreaders come across as lacking in the skills required of a TV presenter while handling extempore matters in hand.

While Bangla news occupies the hot seat for the larger part of the day, the channels seem quite reluctant about giving slots to English news. It becomes clear from the frequency of Bangla news, which is broadcasted every hour or two, while English news is not. Considering the huge number of foreign students, businesspersons, investors, delegates, tourists who are staying in our country we need to reconsider this practice and come up with a more practical approach and practices in news, keeping greater benefits in mind.

It is remarkable for us as a nation that the elder members of our society are fond of watching news while the younger ones are getting more and more interested in national issues. It is a clear indicator of the fact that news has become more entertaining at present and has brought about a positive change to a nation's experience. It is only right that we keep an alert eye on the quality of the news and avoid blind imitation and increase places for novelty and creativity in this newly born culture.

We are not competing with BBC or CNN right now but it is never wrong to dream. In the near future our news will reach beyond borders as they have already started to do so and then the question of projecting ourselves to a larger audience will come. This opportunity can be sensibly employed tomorrow for the benefits of our nation if we are far-sighted enough today.

By Fatima Tuz Zahra

Note on news presentation

When ETV was first broadcasting, we were impressed with everything it aired. After the tired and stale BTV shows, ETV was indeed a reel of fresh visuals. Our love affair with the hourly bulletins and national news grew stronger overnight.

Adding to this whole new experience were the newscasters. The ladies were smart, intelligent and above all very articulate and the men were also their perfect equals. Combining an immaculate dress sense with proper pronunciation and presentation skills, they built up a natural rapport with their audience to make that perfect package. Unfortunately, all that is in the past.

The recent upsurge in and television channels might indicate an increasing popularity of the media, but sadly the state of news presentation leave much to be desired. Newscasters and talk show hosts need to be more than celebrities. A particular channel is as good as its presenters, they are needless to say the face of the channel. Yet when you switch on the television for breaking news, you need to surf at least half a dozen channel before you find a decent looking person reading the news out for you.

When your country is being washed away by a tidal surge, your loved ones being killed, or even when there is that rare bit of good news, you certainly don't want to hear it from someone who is hiding behind a mask of face-paint (and this goes out to the men as well as the women) as s/he reads the news to you in bad Bangla pronunciation.

Firstly, it's bad enough that the majority of the newscasters commit serious fashion crimes, with over-the-top make-up, mismatched clothes and outlandish jewellery. This isn't as trivial as it sounds; often, the garish get-ups of the presenters distract the audience from the news. Secondly, these people really need to work on their pronunciation and elocution. While some speak in a heavy accent that sounds like no Earthly language, others seem to have a marathon running, spitting out the news at the speed of light.

The reporters are hardly better. Whether it's because they think the 'gutter' look is chic, or they simply cannot be bothered, most of the new reporters are dressed in the drabbest of duds, and then compound their fashion crimes with bad deliveries.

While we aren't looking to ape the foreign media, it would be wise to take a leaf from their books. Teaming understated elegance of style with a well-informed, articulate and personable presentation, this is what news presentation should be about.

By Raffat Binte Rashid



Those of us, who work full-time at offices, know it very well that we cannot live without personal computers (PC). However, many of us aren't aware of the dangers of working in front of PC's for too long. To ensure that your workplace companion, the PC doesn't become a health hazard, take a look at the following ergonomics tips on proper placement of keyboard, mouse, monitor and chair.

Position the keyboard so that your forearms are parallel to your thighs while your feet are flat on the floor. It's important because right positioning of your keyboard will help maintain blood flow in your arms and hands. At the same time, it will decrease the chance of muscle strain and tension.

Keep the mouse on the side of your hand at a place that is most comfortable to you. In this way you can prevent twisting and over stretching of your shoulders, arms and wrists. Most PC tables come with a separate tray for the mouse; you can also make use of this tray if it puts no stress on your hand and arm.

The monitor must be placed in such a way so that the centre of the screen is in front of you. Make sure that the monitor is not placed above or below your eye level. Wrong positioning of the monitor will not only put stress on your eyes but also your neck and back.

Adjust the height of your chair so that you can comfortably use your mouse and keyboard. But before adjusting your chair, you must adjust your keyboard and mouse. If possible, use a footrest, as this will make working at a long stretch less strenuous. Besides, adjustment of the height of your chair will ensure proper circulation of blood in your feet and avoid pressure placed on your thighs.

If you have to type something from a document, make sure that the document is placed in a document holder to prevent neck and eye strain.

Don't work and talk over a telephone at the same time. Finish your conversation first and then plunge into work. This is because if you cradle your phone between your neck and shoulder, you might just strain your neck and shoulder muscles. Hold the handset properly while talking, or use a headset.

Correct positioning of your body while working is important to ensure physical comfort and work efficiency. If you ever experience pain in your neck, back, shoulder, arm or eyes, do consult a physician.

Small note for all the employers out there Please check the physical conditions under which your employees work. It's your duty to share ergonomics tips with those who work for you.

By Penelope



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