‘People’s voice will be suppressed if journalists lose their jobs’

Kaski, August 2

President of Federation of Nepali Journalists Govinda Acharya said actions such as relieving journalists of their jobs, providing half salary and exerting pressure on them to stay on leave without payment would suppress the voice of the people.

During an interaction here today, FNJ President Acharya mentioned that journalists working at professional media houses were facing more problems compared to small-scale media outlets after the lockdown. He said the FNJ had been taking initiatives in an organised manner to address the current problems and an emergency relief fund of Rs 10 million had been established.

The FNJ had asked the government to make short and longterm plans to address problems facing the media sector and to provide concessional loans to media houses, according to Acharya.

Similarly, FNJ General-Secretary Ramesh Bista expressed the belief that Free Media Network would help decrease conflicts surfacing through the means of journalism, adding that a plan was prepared to establish the network in all 77 districts. Likewise, central committee member Ram Krishna Gyawali said people from all walks of life in society should provide support as protecting the print media was challenging.

FNJ Gandaki Province President Tribhuvan Poudel observed that mid-career journalists were mostly affected during this period while Kaski Chairperson of Nepal Bar Association Mukti Sharma opined that media should show the right path during all type of disasters as journalism was a mirror of society.

Similarly, Sabanam Sharma, representative of Informal Sector Service Centre, stressed that media should pay attention to different incidents such as child marriage, rape and suicide as such incidents had increased during the lockdown. Participants suggested that the media should make people aware about coronavirus as people in villages were more scared of the virus.

The Free Media Network has been formed in the district as per the central programme of FNJ with the objective of holding talks with stakeholders of the media sector, state, civil society and journalists continuously.

The central mission team held discussions with mediapersons and others in Kaski about the situation yesterday and today.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.