Research finds 3.70 per cent misleading news in Nepali media; THT most reliable

KATHMANDU: According to a recent media related research, The Himalayan Times is the most credible media outlet in terms of producing reliable content from among a host of outlets under study.

Media Action Nepal, a research based media development organisation, has said that it has found around 3.70 per cent of misleading news in Nepal's national level newspapers including online news portals.

In a press statement today, it said that the report titled 'Misleading News in Media: A Study of Newspaper and Online News Portals of Nepal' analysed a total of 49,051 news in which 1,817 news contained misinformation which accounted for 3.70 per cent of false and misleading information.

"The study addresses these concerns to prevent disinformation and to promote credible journalism." To do so, the media should stay away from disseminating misinformation, Laxman Datt Pant, media expert and Chairperson of Media Action Nepal said.

"Learning about misinformation and understanding its presence is really critical first step towards preventing it." Randy Berry, US Ambassador to Nepal said at the report launch.

Read the full report, here.

The media outlets included in the study have published four out of eight categories of misleading information. As some Nepali media did not reveal the source of information correctly, the content or news published by them has fallen into the category of misleading news.

According to the report, Khabarhub accounted to highest per cent of misleading information of 36.33 while The Himalayan Times ranked lowest at 0.05 %. Other media were ranked as follows - Nepal Samacharpatra 25.69%, Himal Khabar 11.14%, Nepal Live 8.12%, Nagarik 7.12%, Annapurna Post 7.02%, The Rising Nepal 6.73%, Republica 4.61%, Nepalkhabar 2.49%, Naya Patrika 1.78%, Ratopati 1.75%, Kantipur 0.45%, Setopati 0.45%, Gorkhapatra 0.33%, Thaha Khabar 0.17%, The Kathmandu Post 0.15%, Baaharkhari 0.13%, Onlinekhabar 0.10%, Deshsanchar 0. 08%.

A total of 36 news items (1.98 percent) included misleading headlines, 23 (1.27 percent) disinformation and 19 (1.05 percent) on misinformation, according to the statement.

"The six media outlets included in the study — four dailies (The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post, Gorkhapatra and Kantipur) and two online news portals (Onlinekhabar and Baaharkhari) — have not published even a single misinformation related to the source," the report stated.

This study was based on an analysis of news stories published in national daily newspapers and online news portals in the first three months of the COVID-19 related lockdown that started on 24 March 2020.