Stakeholders have urged the government to unveil a relief package for the media industry, which is reeling under crisis due to COVID-19.

At an interaction on 'Impact of COVID-19 on Nepal's Journalism and Media Industry' organised by Nepal Press Institute in association with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology today, the speakers said field reporting was decreasing and journalists were laid off due to reduced advertisements in the media while urging the government to extend best possible support to the media industry that has invested almost 20 billion rupees.

Secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Baikuntha Aryal said the federal government was always ready to help the mass media to address their problems.

"Institutional development of media industry is expected. The government is ready to back it if efforts are taken to this end from the media sector. Journalists also require beat-wise training," Secretary Aryal said.

Chair of Federation of Nepali Journalists Bipul Pokharel said the decreasing trend of human resources in big media houses has exposed weakness of media management part. He, however, said journalists did not compromise on their duty of informing the citizen even in the time of pandemic.

Pokharel said 23 journalists had died of COVID-19 so far.

Also speaking at the programme, senior journalist Dhrubahari Adhikari said that media credibility had reduced as field reporting had decreased even before the pandemic started.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 1 2021, of The Himalayan Times.