FNJ proposes forming media authority

Kathmandu, July 6

The model Mass Media Bill drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology by the Federation of Nepali Journalists has proposed establishment of national mass media authority.

According to the model bill, the authority shall be set up for the development, promotion and regulation of media while ensuring freedom of the press and expression. “The main office of the authority shall be situated in Kathmandu valley and provincial offices shall be based in the concerned provincial headquarters,” it reads.

The authority will be an autonomous and corporate body. “It shall have a chairperson and four members appointed by the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of a recommendation committee,” the model bill states.

The five-member recommendation committee will be led by the speaker of the House of Representatives. Chairperson or vice-chairperson of the National Assembly, minister or state minister for communication and information technology, chief whip of main opposition party in the House of Representatives and FNJ chairperson have been proposed as other members of the committee.

According to the model bill, the tenure of chairperson and members of the authority shall be five years. The chairperson shall be responsible for preparing and implementing plans and policies of the authority, preparing annual budget and coordinate with various agencies. Any person, who has invested in media business shall not be eligible for appointment as the chairperson or member of the authority.

The House of Representative may remove the chairperson or member through simple majority if he/she is not found capable of holding the position or is not guided by moral ethics. Similarly, the model Bill has mooted a fund of the authority.

Amount received from the national budget and various sources will be deposited in the fund. The employee required for daily business of the authority shall be provided by the government. It may also hire experts as necessary.