PCN issues new code of journalistic ethics

Kathmandu, September 22

The Press Council Nepal today issued Code of Journalistic Ethics, 2016 in a bid to make the media and journalists more responsible towards the nation and society.

PCN Chairman Borna Bahadur Karki and President of the Federation of Nepali Journalists Mahendra Bista jointly launched the code at a function organised to mark the 47th anniversary of PCN.

The 13-clause code prohibits the media and journalists from disseminating information in a prejudiced manner and in a way as to undermine sovereignty, national integrity and harmony, and incite violence, terror and crime or add to the agony of victims and affected persons.

The code also bars them from mentioning the name of persons not associated with the incident and publishing and circulating scary photos; presenting advertisement as news and news as advertisement respectively; exerting unnecessary pressure on advertisers and news sources; using secret technology to collect news; disseminating information that cause adverse effects on cases sub-judice in courts.

Similarly, accepting gifts and prizes from any governmental or non-governmental agencies; disseminating information that hurts the self-respect of the disabled and minority communities; and spreading unnecessary rumours about public and personal health have also been prohibited.

The code also stipulates stern action against any media or journalists who violate the laws. The PCN may revoke the press accreditation card of journalists guilty of violating the code.

Similarly, the PCN may recommend to the government to remove the media from the classification of print, electronic and online media, besides denying them government advertisements and public service announcements.

The PCN enacted the code in consultation with FNJ. A copy of the code was also handed over to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Speaking at the programme, Karki said, “The code of conduct was released to make journalism more responsible and accountable. The previous code of conduct had mainly focused on print media only.

The new one includes broadcast and online media as well,” he informed. National and international codes has also been included in the new code.

Media must be accountable: Prez

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has lauded Nepali journalists for their role in the socio-economic and political transformation of the country.

Addressing the Press Council Nepal’s awards distribution ceremony held on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the council at the President’s Office in Shital Niwas today, the president sought media accountability and responsibility towards the state, society, and people.

Journalism, as the fourth estate that shoulders the greater role of educating society, assisting the country’s overall development, and disseminating information of national and international concerns to people, needs to be more responsible and accountable towards its target groups, the president said.

On the occasion, the president expressed hope that the Press Council Nepal would do everything in its power to perform its duty as a media regulatory body.

President Bhandari also shed light on the role played by Nepali media in various historic political moments including the 2006 people’s movement, the peace process, Constituent Assembly elections, and promulgation of the new constitution.

The president stressed on the facilitating role of media in the effective enforcement of the constitution, terming media as a watchdog against violation of democratic norms and values, and human rights.

Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki stressed on making Nepali media inclusive.