Ahmed Pipul narrates Covid-19 pandemic experience
Ahmed Pipul is a prominent Bangladeshi journalist and media personality. Currently, he is working for International Television Cannel Limited (NTV) as a Special Correspondent. He capped off his 17 years of education life by completing Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Dhaka and joined NTV in 2005. Pipul also participated in a fellowship program by Thomson Reuters.
Last two years, Covid-19 stopped almost everything. Many of us lost their beloved ones. Many people had to face difficulties. Journalists were not out of them. Ahmed Pipul also infected by Coronavirus. All the lockdown period, as a front-liner, he was super active throughout the news field.
In an interview with us, Ahmed Pipul talks about the state of journalism in Bangladesh and how much the profession has been affected by ongoing pandemic.
What about your pandemic experience?
In the early stage of the pandemic, everyone stacked on their home as well as my nearest people also advised me to do so. But I had to go out and remain on the work. There was no scope to stay a whole day at home. As a front-liner, I had to come in contact with so many people to collect and distribute the latest news updates. This is like a war field, where we are heading forward without seeing the enemy. No one can say, whether this deadly situation will come again and how many generations did not face this kind of thing. Those who watched the War of Independence in 1971, went through a really grave situation. Now, front-line fighters are facing another serious situation. Quiet impossible to express by word, it is really a special set of circumstances.
Why you picked journalism as a career?
Journalism is a noble profession to me. Here you will have many ways to contribute to the country and people. In that sense, to remain in people’s minds I joined journalism. This is not just a profession, absolutely more than that. Money is not the main thing here, rather welfare of the country and people gets focus. I can take myself to the next level in this job. These were key factors to me to take journalism as a profession.
How do you relate social media with television journalism?
By nature, mass media always passes through transitions. Newspaper dominated for a long time. Bengal Gazette was the first one in our land. Simultaneously we got film, this is also a medium. Additionally, Radio gained enormous popularity among news audiences. In the Independence war period in 1971, people were dependent on radio for latest news and updates. Based on the advancement of technology, Television spread at a very fast pace. This is high time for televisions. Everyone prefers television for its flexibility and availability. Those who cannot read or hear, television is also quite fit for them. From three years child to 80 years old, either he or she will watch the video or listen to the audio. Television was one of the major charms of our generation. When I was studying at the University of Dhaka, I felt interested in television. I thought, I will join journalism, and obviously, that will be on television. Although I worked for a few newspapers. Actually, learning started when I was in the newspaper. In my television journalism that learning helped me a lot. For nearly two decades, television is on top of public choice. In this age of technological transformations, people are becoming more and more familiar with video. That is why I made myself to work for the television and still I am learning.
Where journalism stands now and what would be its future shape?
People mostly relied on radio, newspaper or television for news before. But, nowadays most of them are keeping their eyes on social media. This is why the mainstream media industry as well as the profession of journalism faces different kinds of challenges. I think media houses should change their work pattern. Although many of them are on board, they are paying huge efforts to make a strong presence on social media platforms. This is really a big game. Age after age, journalism transformed from a platform to other platforms. Now, Information and data became highly open by the grace of social media. In the meantime, journalism got unprecedented popularity on new platforms. In the forthcoming digital world, they will be the most powerful who have more information. On that view, most people wish to be well informed. Therefore, I believe, journalism will go ahead by overcoming challenges.
Would you please say something for those who are studying journalism and those who are coming ahead?
Media studies people will use their theoretical knowledge in the practical field, that's the expectation. But, those who are coming from another discipline to do journalism, they have to gather basic knowledge. Single specific knowledge and skill is not enough in the media job. We need to be aware of versatile things including local and global history, economy, politics, civilizations etc. Even you have to be aware of the future, what is next. If you want to welcome these challenges throughout life, obviously journalism is for you. Globally, journalism is a challenging job. Here in Bangladesh those challenges are acute, especially financial challenge is common. If you think, these challenges are inimitable and want to offer something for the country and people, you can choose journalism as your career.