International Media Mission in Nepal
Filed Under: Media & Tech, World | Posted: 01/13/2008 at 11:59PM
Comments | Region: Nepal
A dozen of international media instiutions under the leadership of Hojberg of International Media Support have been visiting Nepal in connection with their study of press freedom status in Nepal. They had strongly advocated for press freedom while they visited Nepal during King’s direct rule in Nepal.
At an inaugural session of International Media Mission on Press Freedom and Freedom of Expressin held in Kathmandu on 13 Janaury, members did have formal and informal discussions on the current status of press freedom in Nepal. Pro-party journalists affiliated to the Nepali Congress Party and the UML requested the Mission members to pressure on Maoist party leaderships to respect press freedom. Their complaint was that the Maoist party cadres still kept on threatening journalists.
But independent journalists of Nepal are not happy with their ultra partisan journalism. They say independent and honest journalists are the ones most threatened by smuggling and other criminal gangs protected by the unprincipled and dishonest party leaderships. They point out to the fact that independent journalists’ analyses and media criticism write-ups are generally editorially suppressed.
However, the International Media Mission is understood to be more balanced in commenting on the situation of press freedom in Nepal. However, heavily influenced by party workers under the disguise of journalists, they are likely to be ideologically tilted in the particular context of Nepal’s transition politics. While speaking of the threat to journalists, no Nepali press freedom leaders are understood to have informed them on how most of the Nepali working journalists have been exploited and ill-treated by their own media owners. When they raise demand for the implementation of the Working Journalist Act, media owners suppress their voices with the help of state security apparatus. When media owners are not powerful enough to suppress physically, they misuse their own media and propagate that some other party or group has been mobilized to destroy press freedom in Nepal.
Independent journalists, who usually write under a pseudonym, think media owners have to guarantee human dignity and professional freedom to working journalists while advocating press freedom. According to them, press freedom is not for media owners to run their profitable industry only but also for journalists to work professionally and independently without fear from state and media owners. As media owners and editors appointed by them specifically serve certain partisan interests, professional journalists, who want to work independently and honestly, are suppressed.
At present, mainstream media of Nepal lacks media manpower truly representing the working class people, the majority of Nepali population. Most of the media space has been occupied by middle and elite class representatives; consequently, issues and agenda are generally interpreted as per their own class perceptions. Nevertheless, the International Media Mission is not likely to raise anything regarding this existing reality.