Press Council drafts new code for journalists

Kathmandu, July 4

Nepal Press Council has drafted a 48 clause code of conduct for journalists, 2016 which proposes, among other things, revealing the source of information, except in special circumstances.

It also states that journalists will have to protect people’s right to privacy. The draft code also proposes prohibiting journalists from mentioning the name of persons not related to news stories.

The code also proposes that the journalists while writing news stories about children should not disseminate news that could harm their interests. It also states that journalists, while writing news stories about people indicted in a crime, should not mention the names of the children of such people.

The draft code of conduct for journalists also proposes prohibiting journalists from doing anything that could have adverse impact on the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity. It also says that the journalists should not promote ethnic, caste or gender discrimination.

Press Council Nepal has prepared the draft in consultation with Federation of Nepali Journalists.

FNJ President Mahendra Bista said there was a need for a new comprehensive code of conduct for journalists to incorporate timely changes in the changed contexts but it should also ensure that it does not curtail press freedom.

Bista said the language of the draft needed to be changed to protect the source of information. “The code of conduct says that online media should exercise more caution. The word ‘more’ should be removed or else it could place extra burden on online media,” he added.

Bista said it was a preliminary draft and FNJ would give its final input on it later.