The following was published in Weekly Blitz of
By Dr. Richard L. Benkin
August 12, 2006 (Dhaka, Bangladesh) A correspondent for Voice of America (VOA) in
the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka went on an anti-American rant and has placed
the generally positive reputation enjoyed by that US tax payer funded agency in
jeopardy. On Friday night August 11, VOA
correspondent Matiur Rahman
Chowdhury appeared on the popular
When asked for his comment on the arrests, Chowdhury called them a “game of the British
government.” He went on to accuse
“western governments,” and in particular the
Chowdhury’s stories on the VOA web site show were reviewed and found to be brief, straightforward and factual with no apparent sign of editorial bias. However, the VOA’s Journalistic Code states clearly “VOA employees recognize that their conduct both on and off the job can reflect on the work of the Voice of America community. They adhere to the highest standards of journalistic professionalism and integrity. They work to foster teamwork, goodwill, and civil discourse in the workplace and with their colleagues everywhere in the world, all to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the Voice of America.”
Chowdhury’s comments not only present a popular anti-American and pro-Islamist point of view in a country that is trying to prevent an Islamist takeover, but it also violates several tenets of the VOA’s code of conduct for journalists. Those tenets mandate correspondents to “avoid at all times the use of unattributed pejorative terms or labels [and to] “meticulously avoid fabricating, distorting, or dramatizing an event” among others.
After a 2001 accusation of
“pro-Islamist” and “anti-American” bias at the VOA in
Currently, our bi-lingual sources are conducting an investigation of his Manavzamin for any indications of anti-American or pro-Islamist bias.