Nepal | September 28, 2020

Media facing hard time during pandemic

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 2

Nepali media has been hit hard due to unprecedented global health crisis resulting from COVID-19 pandemic.

Many small media outlets have closed, journalists have lost jobs while big media houses have reduced news content.

This has rendered a severe blow to citizen’s right to information, free speech, free press and the entire media industry.

A report released by Freedom Forum, an NGO, today on the eve of World Press Freedom Day warned that media and journalists continued to suffer various problems since last year.

Cases of press freedom violation increased slightly this year with 107 as compared to 104 last year. Such violations directly affected a total of 206 journalists across the country this year, it said. Of the total cases of press freedom violation this year, 62 were related to threats followed by 44 related to attacks and manhandling, 39 were arrest cases, 27 were related to misbehaviour, 21 prohibition cases, nine related to vandalism and obstruction, and four job losses.

Categorising the cases as per media type, 69 were related to online media, 48 to print, 42 to television, 30 to radio, including 14 cases involving freelance journalists, among others.

As per the province-wise analysis, Bagmati Province, which also has the federal capital, witnessed the highest number of violations (43), followed by Province 2 (20). Similarly, Province 1 and Gandaki Province shared equal number of violations (10). Province 5 and Sudurpaschim Province witnessed equal number of violations (6) and Karnali Province recorded 12 violations.

According to Freedom Forum, most of the violations took place while journalists were covering stories of public interest and concern, crime, irregularities, corruption and political demonstrations.

In the third week of March, Press Council Nepal, a media regulatory body, shut down nearly 50 websites and wrote to the National Telecommunication Authority to restrict access to those online portals from the country alleging they were spreading ‘false information on COVID-19.’ On April 1, Shiran Technologies, with its link to the IT experts of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli secretly removed a story on corruption in procurement of medical equipment, from www.kathmandupress.com.

The state-owned Radio Nepal removed its interview with former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai on April 27. Radio Nepal also directed its staffers to be cautious while choosing guests for the programme to be broadcast from Radio Nepal. In the talk programme, former prime minister Bhattarai had criticised the prime minister’s recent activities.

“The prime minister has repeatedly discredited and demoralised media and its role.

Those against free press are encouraged and stoked with such anti-press views. Recently, he accused the media and social media users of acting against stability and development in Nepal,” read the report.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 3, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Three persons including campus chief absconding

DHULIKHEL, SEPTEMBER 26 Three persons, including campus chief, have been absconding ever since police issued an arrest warrant against them in Kavre’s Banepa. A fraud charge was filed against three people including Kavre Multiple Campus Chief KJ Baidar in Kavre’s Banepa Municipality, with Read More...

Traffic police expedite monitoring of public vehicles

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Traffic police have expedited inspection and monitoring of public vehicles in Kathmandu valley to ensure that they follow health guidelines and other requirements specified by the government to prevent and control COVID-19. Senior Superintendent of Police Bhim Prasad Dh Read More...

Food, medicines provided to returnees from India

DHANGADI, SEPTEMBER 26 Dhangadi sub-metropolis has been providing free food and health facilities for Nepalis returning from India at border entry point, in Dhangadi. Deputy Mayor Sushila Mishra Bhatta of the sub-metropolis said food and water were being offered to the returnees ever since the Read More...

17 supporters of Dr KC arrested from Maitighar

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Police have arrested 17 peaceful demonstrators, who had gathered at Maitighar Mandala today. They were there to express solidarity with senior orthopaedic surgeon Dr Govinda KC, who has been staging his 19th hunger strike for the last 13 days. Supporters of Dr KC were w Read More...

Nepse index witnesses marginal correction

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 The four weeks of bull run came to a halt in trading period between September 20 and 24, with Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index dropping by 0.69 per cent or 10.92 points. “A correction was overdue as the stocks had become overheated,” explained a stockbroker, seeki Read More...

Tourism Recovery Task Force launched

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 On the occasion of World Tourism Day, a Tourism Recovery Task Force (TRTF-Nepal) was launched here today. Addressing the launch ceremony, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai appreciated the private sector for coming together to foster colla Read More...

Former Indian minister Jaswant Singh passes away

KATHMANDU: India's former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Jaswant Singh, passed away in New Delhi on Sunday. He was 82. Singh, who was suffering from illness for a long time, died today at 6:55 am at Delhi's Army Hospital (Research & Referral) where he had been admitted in J Read More...

'Everything is uncertain': Coronavirus rages in Argentina, cases top 700,000

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's coronavirus infections topped 700,000 on Saturday with new daily infections and deaths among the top five globally, Reuters data showed, despite seven months of quarantine that have ravaged the frail economy. Argentina reported a rolling seven-day average of 11,0 Read More...