Bergman’s work emphasizes “activism rather than journalism”
Published: 14:35 17 February 2021
David Bergman; Photo: Collected
British journalist David Bergman has been criticized for publishing a controversial report titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men” on the Bangladesh government in the Qatar-based media outlet Al Jazeera. He had previously been criticized for controversial work and also lost his job more than once.
Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of online news portal bdnews24.com, got a chance to see him up close. He spoke about that experience in a recent discussion. “Bergman was ‘immature’ as a journalist, who did not fully understand the issues of journalism. Not only that, ‘activism’ is more important than ‘journalism’ in his work and ‘biased’,” he said.
Talking about Bergman, Toufique Khalidi said there has always been an agenda in his (Bergman) work - which is understandable when working with him. “Bergman worked for bdnews24.com for less than six months in 2010,” he informed.
Recalling that time, the editor-in-chief said, “We were desperately looking for an English copywriter. I did not need a journalist, reporter or editorial leader at that time. I needed a native speaker to correct English. So we happily hired him.”
However, Toufique Imrose Khalidi also raised the issue of getting to “understand Bergman” through various questions in work. He told Bergman that there was a difference between “journalism and activism” when he disagreed with Bergman in some headlines.
“Bergman thinks of himself as an activist or blogger, not as a journalist,” the editor-in-chief of bdnews24.com said.
David Bergman joined bdnews24.com in March 2010 and left work in August of that year. Remarking that he had no personal grudges against Bergman or anything else, the editor-in-chief said, “He had long tried to speak out against our company and me to my colleagues for a long time after he left.”
Referring to the report on bdnews24.com about Bergman’s activities, Toufique Imrose Khalidi said, “Bergman had an unquenchable enthusiasm for war crimes trials, which seemed unusual to me.”
It is to be mentioned that David Bergman was fined Tk 5000 in 2014 for contempt of court for running a deliberate campaign to challenge the War Crimes Tribunal. He mentioned the Tribunal’s verdict on war criminal Abul Kalam Azad to death as “irresponsible” on a blog.
Referring to the “All the Prime Minister’s Men” report, Toufique Khalidi said that his report was “biased.”