Kathmandu, November 10
The eighth plenary meeting of Federation of Nepali Journalists has decided to carry out special central mission in all provinces from mid-January 2020 for press freedom, safety of journalists and implementation of the Working Journalist Act and journalistic code of conduct.
A press release issued by FNJ after its two-day plenary meeting said the umbrella organisation of journalists would reject any anti-press law presented or being presented at the Parliament, and lobby would with concerned authorities and stakeholders to make law concerning media, press-friendly. “Any law containing provisions that control and curtail freedom of expression would be unacceptable and FNJ is determined to fight for safeguarding the basic principles of free press,” it read. Earlier, FNJ and media fraternity had taken serious objection to the provisions in the Media Council Bill which they said were intended to curtail press freedom and were against the international norms and values of right to freedom of expression. FNJ has decided to organise public discussion with the stakeholders on cautionary measures to be taken by media to respect individual privacy and refrain from publishing and broadcasting fake news that ferment communal violence.
FNJ has also demanded that the government recognise Nepali media as service industry and provide facilities accordingly, ensure proportional distribution of government advertisements and grant permission for journalists to enter Singh Durbar with identity cards issued by FNJ. “The government should ensure that working journalists are entitled to enjoy the facilities as provisioned by the act,” it said.
According to FNJ, it is set to launch stringent protest programmes against media houses which are reluctant to implement the act and the provisions of minimum salary for working journalists. FNJ has been urging the government to implement the act. It has also been urging the media houses to respect the work of journalists time and again. It observed that working journalists were entitled to appointment letter, salary and facilities as stipulated by the act. Some journalists had been facing problems to obtain press accreditation card as the concerned media houses failed to submit information such as designation of journalists and their monthly salary structure to the Department of Information and Broadcasting, said FNJ.
A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.