Government urged to guarantee social security of journalists

Kathmandu, September 8

A delegation of Federation of Nepali Journalists led by its president Govinda Acharya met Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet at the latter’s office in Singha Durbar and urged him to foster an enabling environment for free press and freedom of expression.

The delegation also drew the government’s attention toward addressing the issues related to democracy, human rights and press freedom; media policy; rights and social security of working journalists; protection of small-sized media houses; and infrastructures for capacity building of journalists.

A memorandum submitted by FNJ to Minister Basnet urged that the government to search for journalists disappeared, initiate action against those involved in the killing of mediapersons and provide appropriate relief to the victims’ kin.

“We want the government to show seriousness in preventing anti-press activities and bringing to book the guilty,” read the memorandum. The FNJ also attached emphasis to the implementation of the Media Policy and the Online Media Operation Directive with necessary amendment for the guarantee of media autonomy.

Stating that some media houses had denied to pay the minimum salary fixed by the government, the FNJ delegation demanded implementation of the provision.

“The government has yet to appoint press registrar in the spirit of the Working Journalists Act. We strongly urge the ministry to appoint a high-powered press registrar as soon as possible,” the memorandum said.

The FNJ also demanded immediate implementation of the earlier decision to provide 50 per cent discount to journalist in government hospitals.