Apropos of the news story “Journo qualifications” (THT, Perspectives, August 14, Page 6), what exactly is forward looking approach? First, minimum qualification and examination for journalists are 100 years late.

Imagine how good it would have been if it were introduced even 40 years ago. Second, what should be the minimum qualification for journalists - SLC or Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ)? You cannot have SLC graduates and vying with Master’s degree holders in MC for accreditation?

Agree that all professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots and teachers have to sit for examinations for entering their respective professions, but you would not put SLC graduates and MBBS together for medical license, would you?

Therefore, the minimum qualification for journalists should be set at Master’s in MCJ and not in other disciplines such as commerce and geography, although these can be taken as secondary qualification for specialized reporting. After all, you cannot ask an aeronautical engineer to fly planes or ask a pilot to change tires. But an engineer can take pilot course and vice versa qualifying for both professions.

Similarly, you cannot have mismatch in education and qualification for journalists.

There should be stringent punishment for ‘very unqualified people who do not follow the code of conduct and do not practise being above political interest’.

But revised code of conduct should not bar reporting the facts, no matter how unpalatable or damaging, to government, politicians, parties and others. As for political interest, what about the Press Council? Are its office bearers ‘being above political interest’?

Do they have Master’s degrees in Mass communication and Journalism? The government’s move is appreciable if it has been done with the noble intention of making the profession respectable and dignified, which is highly doubtful. Finally, the government should immediately withdraw distribution of largesse to the media from the state coffers.

This step alone will bring down the number of journalists, newspapers, tabloids, journals, TV and radios by 90 percent.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


Relations

It’s really a matter of honour for Nepal for the fact that Japan has assured full support and co-operation to the new government led by CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

Calling on our Premier Dahal at his official residence in Baluwatar on August 10, Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masashi Ogawa said his country always wanted Nepal to become stable as well as prosperous.

Both Nepal and Japan have been sharing diplomatic ties for more than five decades.

The fellow Asian country had provided $ 260 million to Nepal as a budgetary support to rebuild infrastructures which were damaged by the earthquake of April 25 and its aftershocks.

Pratik Shrestha, Kathmandu