Online media operation code issued

Kathmandu, March 22

The government has issued Online Media Operation Directive, 2017 to make registration, renewal and operation of online media systematic.

The directive came into effect with its publication in the Nepal Gazette on Monday. Any person or firm

desirous of taking up online journalism should submit an application with necessary documents to the Department of Information in a prescribed format.

The online media in operation prior to the commencement of this directive shall also apply to the department within 60 days from the date of its publication in the Nepal Gazette. “Even the print and electronic media, both state-owned and private, have to apply to the department within the same period if any of them is interested in operating online media,” read the directive.

Any online media registered with the department should seek renewal by mid-July of each year. “For renewal process, the concerned online media will be obliged to submit tax clearance certificate and audit report of the previous fiscal,” it added.

The directive has stated that concerned online media should appoint editor, journalists, manager and employees and provide them minimum salary as prescribed by the Working Journalists Act. “If the online media fails to abide by these compulsory provisions, the department shall not register and renew it,” it said.

The directive has also made it mandatory for online journalists to obtain press accreditation card under the laws in force. It has banned publication or broadcast of news, views and other matters restricted by the constitution, existing laws and Journalistic Code of Ethics.

The concerned online media shall be held accountable for publication and dissemination of any restricted material. It will be the duty of the media to keep the copy of each material published or disseminated online. The department will carry out monitoring of online media to ascertain whether they have complied with the Journalistic Code of Ethics.

“If the online media violate the rules and code of ethics, they will not be entitled to the facilities to be provided by the government,” it said.