Media fraternity insists on guaranteeing full press freedom

KATHMANDU: The media fraternity has insisted on correcting many provisions related to press in the proposed draft constitution underlining the fact they were against the principle of press freedom and a breeding ground for controversy.

Journalists attending an interaction on Press Freedom in Constitution's Draft organised by the Editors Society Nepal here on Thursday called for full press freedom to be guaranteed in the new constitution.

They said Article 24 of the draft constitution mentioned restrictive clauses and demanded removal of such words of dubious nature.

Journalist Puru Risal said that to mention the introduction of a law to regulate media outlets was tantamount to controlling the media. He further underlined the necessity to have a clear-eyed perspective on exercising rights during emergency situations.

Journalist Suresh Acharya said it is unfortunate that a provision to weaken press freedom was introduced by trampling upon the earlier arrangement in the Interim Constitution. He demanded removing unclear, controversial and convoluted words in the constitution related to press freedom. "The broadcasting media are regularly regulated in the world, it is usual in Nepal too and cannot be opposed, but it must be clearly mentioned in the constitution that the print media must not be regulated," he said.

Editors Society Nepal Chair Devendra Gautam echoed widespread comments on correcting many points that are against the freedom of press in the proposed draft constitution.

The Society has stated that it will hand over a written advice to the Constituent Assembly Chairperson Subas Nembang demanding amendment of provisions related to press in the preliminary draft of the constitution.