4:42 pm - Friday January 18, 4515

Mahbubul Alam passes away

Mahbubul Alam, a former editor of The Independent, passed away at a hospital in Dhaka today (Friday June 06). He was 78.

Also a former adviser to the caretaker government, Alam, who started his journalism career with Associated Press of Pakistan in 1957, breathed his last at 9:25am at BIRDEM hospital, where he was admitted on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated.

Doctors said he was suffering from a host of old age complications.

Mahbubul AlamBorn in 1936 in Munsiganj, Alam went on retirement on October 19 last year after serving The Independent as the editor for 18 years.

He left behind three daughters and a host of relatives and well wishers to mourn his death.

In a condolence message, Vice-chairman of Beximco Group Salman F Rahman said the nation has lost one of respected journalists in the country.

Recalling his contribution to Bangladesh’s journalism, Salman F Rahman, said, “Alam successfully steered The Independent for more than 18 years.”

M Shamsur Rahman, who succeeded Alam as the editor of The Independent, paid rich tributes to his predecessor, saying his contribution has not only enriched The Independent but also the overall journalism of Bangladesh.

Alam’s career in journalism spanned over 50 years. He was editor of the weekly Dialogue (1992-1995); chief editor and managing director of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, National News Agency (wire service) of Bangladesh (1987-1989); and editor of The New Nation (1986-1987).

In addition to his journalism career, Alam held various positions in the government. He served as Press Minister at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington DC with the rank and status of an Ambassador (1989-1992); and earlier, as Press Counsellor at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington D C (1978-1980).

He served as Press Counsellor (1976-1978) at the Bangladesh High Commission in London. He was Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Bhutan (1983-1986).

He was Director General, External Publicity Wing and Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka (1980-1983).

Alam was a member of the Dhaka Club (Dhaka), the National Press Club (Dhaka) and the Officers’ Club (Dhaka). He was an honorary member of the Uttara Club (Dhaka).

He served as a member of the Governing Body of the Press Institute of Bangladesh (1980-1983), a member of the National Press Club (Washington DC 1989-1992), the Bangladesh Press Council; and during the 1980s, as Honorary Secretary, Bangladesh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

He was the Chairman of Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB).

Alam lectured on Bangladesh affairs at different universities in the United States including the University of Wisconsin at Madison, New York State University at Stoney Brook and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

He received an M.A. in Political Science from Dhaka University. In 1963, he received training in Journalism and Commonwealth Relations as a Fellow of Commonwealth Press Union, and attended a short course at Oxford University.

He was a recipient of Atish Dipankar Gold Medal for his contribution to Journalism.