Media experts have stressed the need to make the mass media more inclusive in terms of content and participation.

Speaking in an interaction on the 'Status of indigenous and nationalities journalists and inclusiveness' here today, they said the mass media should be inclusive and the judicious inclusion of the marginalised communities should be ensured.

Indigenous Nationalities Commission Chairperson Ram Bahadur Thapa opined that women, indigenous nationalities, Madhesi, Dalit, Muslim and backward regions should operate the alternative media and also increase their participation in the mainstream media. They should also take initiative for disseminating contents related to their issues.

He also called on the State to encourage the mass media run in their respective mother languages by the indigenous nationalities communities.

Language Commission Chairperson Lav Deo Awasthi opined that stress should be given to the indigenous journalism than imported journalism so as to enliven the languages spoken by the various indigenous communities of Nepal.

Federation of Nepali Journalists President Bipul Pokharel said the FNJ was focused on making both the State and private media inclusive at the policy level itself. Noting that inclusiveness in the content can be achieved only if the newsrooms of the media are inclusive, he said the FNJ would take initiative to this end.

Socialist Press Organisation President Shambhu Shrestha stressed the need of introducing incentives for providing the public welfare advertisements and other facilities for retaining the media operated, especially by the marginalised communities.

Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Journalists senior vice-president Gajurdhan Rai presented the data showing the indigenous nationalities, which make up 37 per cent of the country's total population, had only six per cent representation in television.

Rastriya Samachar Samiti Deputy General Manager Raju Shakya said although RSS, the national news agency, was inclusive to some extent in terms of content and participation, it was not adequate.

He said the marginalised communities should be included at the leadership level rather than participation for the sake of tokenism.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 1, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.