Minister to implement Working Journalist Act

Kathmandu, May 24:

The state minister for information and communication, Dilendra Prasad Badu, today said he would endorse the Working Journalist Act that had been shelved for a long time now. Badu was talking to a delegation of journalists at his office.

The delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) met the minister to urge him to immediately implement the Act for the benefit of journalists and betterment of the Nepali press.

The 26-point concept paper they submitted to the minister includes demands for scrapping all autocratic decisions, security of journalists, promotion of the media and policy regarding the strengthening of the FNJ.

Mahendra Bista, the general-secretary of FNJ, said the minister said he would scrap the one-door advertisement policy that allowed the government to offer subsidies only to those newspapers which supported the king’s direct rule. “The minister was positive to our demands and promised that he would either immediately implement the demands or initiate discussion on the issues raised by the FNJ,” he said.

Bista said the minister was convinced by the FNJ’s concept of press freedom and was ready to relocate displaced journalists, bring down the postal charges for newspaper despatch, investigate and bring to book all those who misused the national coffer to quell the democratic movement and address other topical issues.

Other demands the journalists raised were regarding a high-level media commission, release of detained media persons, re-classification of newspapers and recognition of on-line journalism, among others.

This is the first time that an FNJ delegation met a minister after the royal take over of February 1, 2005.