FNJ seeks aid for media houses

Kathmandu, April 30

The Federation of Nepali Journalists today submitted an 11-point memorandum to Minister of Communications and Information Technology, seeking relief package for media sector which is reeling under severe financial crisis in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

The umbrella organisation of journalists has drawn the government’s attention towards the need to fulfil the 11-point charter of demands at a time when media fraternity is facing myriad challenges like never before.

FNJ urged the government to allocate necessary budget to all media outlets for dissemination of information, education and communication materials to raise awareness about novel coronavirus.

It also demanded that the government grant full exemption to media outlets on royalty and renewal fee, taxes and electricity, telephone and internet tariffs, concession in purchase of newsprint and other press materials, in addition to announcement of relief package.

“Some media houses have been resorting to lay-offs, paycuts, non-payment or delayed payment of salary due to economic downturn caused by COVID-19 crisis. We urge the government to take necessary initiatives to resolve the crisis,” reads the memorandum.

FNJ also demanded action on the part of the government to strictly enforce the existing Working Journalists Act-1993 and Rules-2007 and guarantee facilities provisioned therein.

Other demands put forth by FNJ include immediate formation of Advertisement Board and implementation of proportional distribution of advertisements, recognition of media as an industry, implementation of clean feed policy and guarantee of press freedom.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.