On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Regardless of what format it appears in, Khandaker Fakaruddin Ahmed is passionate about journalism. Beginning his career in print as a copy editor at The Daily Prothom Alo — Bangladesh’s largest daily newspaper — he was fascinated with digital as it took off in the West. When the company started an online edition in 2011, Ahmed gladly embraced the opportunity to serve a key role in developing the site. As assistant news editor, he played a key role in growing it into the country’s largest digital platforms.
“I overhauled its contents and started video and image services,” he said. But he saw greater potential and opportunities online and left in 2014 to launch NTV Online, an independent online television station. In less than two years, Alexa’s ranking named it the No. 3 Web site in Bangladesh.
“Currently it is the largest and most profitable digital platform in Bangladesh’s television industry,” Ahmed said. “More than 700 million minutes of video is watched from this platform — higher than any other TV station. My goal is to make NTV Online the biggest digital platform in the country with a global footprint.”
The same vision that brought him this far and helped him create NTV Online also drives his determination to change the future. With this expertise, he wants to promote innovation in Bangladesh and help the country’s news media ecosystem thrive.
“It is frustrating to see that the news industry is dying in our country, largely because of lack of new digital initiatives, innovation, and failure to reach a new generation of audience,” he said. “I want to set an example and help others think differently. Despite Bangladesh’s promises and potential as a country with demographic dividend, what is widely missing is opportunity.”
The two greatest areas in need of investment are quality learning and jobs, and Ahmed wants to be part of changing how education is approached. He has attended international workshops to broaden his skills and expand his knowledge base, and next he is looking toward gaining more technological and managerial insights. He is optimistic all of this will contribute to making NTV Online a model organisation as well as allowing it to serve the people of Bangladesh.
“In our country, nobody is thinking, ‘If we embrace technology and make a platform with a lot of verticals, that will be an example.’”
But that’s exactly what Ahmed sees as his next mission: “My dream and objective is to grow alongside global players.”