Kathmandu, July 22
A Cabinet meeting held today approved the National Media Policy, 2016 drafted by the high-level committee on information and communication.
The committee led by Kashi Raj Dahal had submitted its report to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday. As per the new policy, information and communications system will be developed as a medium to uplift people’s living standards and to institutionalise the federal democratic republic.
The policy has envisaged development of information and communications system for the establishment of equitable and prosperous information society on the basis of inclusive and participatory principle by promoting national interests and national unity.
It has also provided for a provision to recognise media as information and knowledge-based service industry by classifying them as self-employment, small, medium-sized and large investment enterprises.
According to the policy, media shall be required to disclose their self-rule, self-evaluation and editorial policy in writing to promote fair and decent journalism.
“National investment shall be encouraged in media by ensuring legitimacy of the source of investment and financial transparency. In case foreign investment is to be attracted foreign investment for the development of infrastructure and technology, the government shall grant permission for the same by setting conditions that such print and broadcast media shall enjoy editorial freedom and hire only Nepali citizens as their employees. Foreign investment shall not be encouraged in a manner which makes the role of foreign investors decisive,” says the policy.
“The government shall adopt a clean feed (without added graphics and text as advertisement for commercial purpose) policy for foreign television channels that wish to obtain broadcast licence in Nepal. In the case of licenced channels, a certain time-frame shall be given for the clean feed,” read the policy.
Advertising Association of Nepal has welcomed this move of the government.
The policy has also proposed fixing an investment ceiling so as to prevent any individual or group that operates national-level print or electronic media from having majority share in another print or electronic media.
The policy said online news portals shall be classified and treated as equal to other news media.
A version of this article appears in print on July 23, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.