A sudden roll of drums announces the arrival of the dholaki who then starts to chant the news of the month at the top of his lungs.
I stare at the hunky, bronzed man with a huge dholak slung across his shoulders, cupping his hands around his mouth and shouting about some stolen horses, a marriage and other news.
When he leaves, I run alongside him with the other children of my village, pestering him for sweets. Such was the time 15 years ago when I used to live with my grandparents in Gulmi, Lumbini.
Now, my cell-phone goes beep-beep whenever I join a network, heralding news from all corners of the globe, with comments and opinions by people I will never meet.
Aside from clichéd sayings about the progression of technology and communication, the process of gathering and disseminating news hasn’t changed much. News has always been a source of distraction for us.
Although I may be wrong, my opinion is that most people’s thought processes go along the line of “Let me forget my miseries by learning about other people’s miseries” while reading, watching or listening to the news.
The news industry, like any other healthy (read corruption-filled) industry, has its own top players called The Big Five.
The big five and the various agencies that work under them had been chugging along quiet happily, swallowing up profits, when suddenly a new news source comes up.
It rises slowly at first but gains momentum so quickly that each and every news agency under the sun had to change their whole format and agenda to keep pace. I am talking about the (of course! you say) social media.
Saying that people liked it would be an understatement. To put it in perspective, Nepal has a total population of around 28-29 million. So if my math serves, Facebook has around 54 times more users than our latest population.
Even in our own country, the literal god of the internet, Google, came in second, with Facebook at the top of the list of the most visited site in the country.
All of this information shows that subtly but surely, the power of the production of news is slipping from the big manufacturers to the single citizen. A single tweet can be the starting point for the next revolution.
A single YouTube video can make or break a government. A new age has come where even the average citizen has the potential to sway billions of people on her/his behalf. So, will the big news agencies just blink out of existence? No, of course not.
They are corporate entities and one can see that they have adapted to new online world quite cleverly.
The major portion of the news industry will still be controlled by them.