FNJ condemns Minister Baskota’s remarks against journalists in House

Kathmandu, October 5

The Federation of Nepali Journalists has taken serious exception to the offensive and indecent remarks made by Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota against journalists at the Development Committee of the Parliament yesterday.

He had come down heavily on journalists for their work and issued circular to all ministries and agencies thereunder, and constitutional bodies directing them to prioritise the state-owned media for publication and broadcast of public service announcements and government advertisements.

“FNJ condemns the way Minister Baskota presented himself at the meeting of the Development Committee to malign the media fraternity for allegedly writing and broadcasting against him and the government,” a press statement released by the umbrella organisation of journalists said today.

He also satirically asked mediapersons to visit him to receive Dashain expense if they were facing cash crunch’. “This remark has insulted mediapersons in general. We strongly condemn the statement of this kind from a responsible minister,” it stated.

FNJ has also protested the move of the MoCIT to issue a circular to all the ministries, government agencies and constitutional bodies to attach priority to state-owned media for publication and broadcast of government advertisements by bypassing private media.

“At a time when the process is on to ensure equal access of all media to government advertisements, it is not a proper move to issue such a circular,” the release stated.

It said publication and broadcast of public service announcements and government advertisements would only increase the risk of circulation of controlled information and curtail press freedom. “FNJ would also like to urge the government to stop sullying the image of the entire press fraternity and treat all media equally,” the release read.