Pokhara, May 15
Kaski-based journalists today condemned the Media Council Bill tabled in the parliament by the government.
Speaking at an interaction programme organised by Kaski chapter of Federation of Nepali Journalists in Pokhara, senior journalists and civil society leader deplored the anti-press provisions incorporated in the media council bill.
Senior journalist Badri Binod Khanal said that the anti-press points included in the media bill should be rectified.
“Before the bill was tabled in the Parliament, it should have been debated by media experts and the anti-press provisions removed,” Khanal stated.
Another senior journalist Narayan Karki expressed concern about the ruling party’s negative perspective of the media.
“When a party is in the opposition, it takes recourse to the media. But when the same party sits in the government, it is against the press”, he added. He commented that it was sad that a democratically-elected government had tried to restrict media by tabling anti-free press bill in the Parliament.
FNJ central member Ram Krsihna Gyawali said that it was wrong to bring out the new bill when the Press Council was trying to regulate media houses and journalists.
“The fixing of penalty up to Rs 1 million for journalists means the government wants closure of small media,” Gyawali added.
FNJ Kaski chapter Chair Dipendra Shrestha said passage of the media council bill from the Parliament would be dangerous for democracy.
Civil society leader Ram Bahadur Paudel said government attack on the press
and human rights was reprehensible.
A version of this article appears in print on May 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.