Stakeholders discuss threat to journalists, impunity

Pokhara, September 18

Stakeholders in Pokhara have rued the growing lack of security among journalists in recent days and sought accountability on the part of media fraternity as well as state mechanism in addressing the threat.

Speaking at a programme organised by Society of Development Communication Nepal with support of UNESCO today, the participants pointed out the need for journalists to uphold the rule of law besides dwelling on the inconvenience and threat faced by the free press.

“As the state is always a superior entity, we need to respect it. So, media persons should be aware of their responsibilities while carrying out their duties,” said Kaski District Court judge Ram Prasad Oli.

“Information is the backbone of democracy and we need to fully implement this right,” Oli said, adding,

“As journalists are working for the country and its people, the state mechanism should also take responsibility if media persons face threats while carrying out their duties.”

District Police Office Parbat Chief DSP Ganga Panta stressed that media persons should work sincerely in order to improve their tainted image.

“There is a widespread assumption that journalists trade their integrity for money and hardly write any unbiased news. In view of this, they need to do the needful in order to change the prevailing impression,” said Panta, adding, “Problems also arise as journalists often assume that they are above the law and behave accordingly.”

Laxman Panta of UNESCO Nepal’s Journalists’ Security Project presented a paper at the programme and revealed that the project, in coordination with the National Human Rights Council, was working to lay down laws to ensure security of journalists while commissioning the human rights defenders to end impunity.