Media and Public Security in Nepal
Organised by Nepal Press Union (NPU)
2 May 2013, Kathmandu
Report Prepared by
Chandra Shekhar Adhikari
Senior Correspondent, Annapurna Post Daily
Central Committee Member of NPU: Email: email@example.com
Coinciding with the World Press Day Nepal
Press Union ( NPU) organised one day interaction programe on the
role of media in promoting public security on 2nd May, 2013. Public
security in Nepal, in recent times, seems have weakened. It ha
The main problem on the security in the present situation is to
be aware within the family. Strike and protests have been seen
as a culture of the country which is the main cause of threat
of the country. To address the issue, NPU organized the program
in collaboration with Freidrich Ebert Stiftung, (FES) a non profit,
private education think tank, committed to the concepts and the
basic values of democratic socialism. FES was founded in 1925
in Germany for freedom, justice and solidarity, based in Kathmandu.
More than hundred active journalists were participated in the
program and two senior journalists submitted the different working
paper. Yubraj Ghimire, Senior journalist and columnist and Former
President of Federation of Journalists (FNJ) Dharmendra Jha presented
paper on Influence on private and public security and Journalist
Security in Nepal.
Chief Guest in the Program, Nepali Congress Central Committee
member Dr. Shekhar Koirala and another central committee member
N. P. Saud also highlighted the Media and Public issues. Former
President of FNJ and Nepal Press Union, Secretary of FNJ and other
senior Journalists were participated in the program.
The Central Committee member of Nepali Congress
Shekhar Koirala, as a chief guest said that plans are underway
to keep Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist and Upendra Yadav-led Madeshi
Janadhikar Forum-Nepal out of the electoral process, and it
is still in doubt over CA elections in November. Chairman of
UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madeshi Morcha want these
political forces out from the polls process, Koirala said in
the inaugural session.
Concerning on political and technical hurdles,
Koirala claimed that a conspiracy is being devises to keep those
forces away from electoral process to determine that there is
no constitution in place. "Elections can take place but
writing a new constitution will be a difficult task," Koirala
said. On the issue of security of media persons, Koirala said
that only a strong democracy and nationality can ensure the
safety and high professionalism of the media people. "Unoccupied
nationalism and democracy cannot meet the challenges deriving
from this sector."
Another leader of Nepali Congress N. P. Saud
said that press freedom cannot be expected if political parties
themselves set up media. Journalists should think themselves
what they can do together than expect from the state can do
Head of FES Nepal office, Dev Raj Dahal said
that violence has been decentralized because of the weakness
of the state. He said that the role of media lies in connecting
the society, not dividing them.
Chairman of the Freedom Forum and former President
of Federation of Nepali Journalists, Taranath Dahal claimed
that 35 journalists were killed in Nepal during the last 12
years. Amongst them nine were being killed due to content of
news published in their respective media. He added "the
media sector faces more aggravation when the state becomes weak
and media is weakened when the state becomes authoritarian."
Paper Presenting and Discussion
While presenting his paper Ghimire pointed
out in the paper that a citizen should fulfill his/her own duty
and responsibility; however, the environment should be determined
through the government. Voting rights is the right of a citizen
in the country which is included into his national responsibility.
National security is the security of a citizen. The image of
the country becomes more superior when a citizen feels secured
inside and outside of his/ her own country. Public insecurity
is the opposite condition of insecurity of the country. In the
present context, the chief justice and the prime minister is
the same person in the country. The rights of judiciary and
the government(karyapalika) within the one person brings unbalanced
in itself, that badly effects in public security. There will
be a conflict arises if the judiciary is criticized by the public
as the politicians are always badly criticized by the people.
Such situation creates a different environment over the public
and starts seeking the justice with the help of 'Don' of the
society. Not only with the public rather would individual have
the security problem if such atmosphere continues for a long
Ghimire's paper further stated that the activities
of foreign countries' role will be vital into the country that
creates a big question towards the security of whole nation.
The country is moving towards into this situation after 2062/63's
public movement. The feeling of keeping the political parties
themselves over the nation has brought the situation like this
what we are facing nowadays. Their bad effects direct seems
on journalism, nevertheless, journalism itself is divided; some
of them seem very loyal to politicians and some are in neutral.
Senior journalist Ghimire further said that the role of parties
and the leaders play an important role to establish democracy
in the country whereas parties always seem above the nation
and leaders above both the state and institution that should
not be to run the democracy. He further stated "This has
gradually eroding the judiciary and other institutions, hurting
the credibility and authority of the state which has ultimately
led to the political and constitutional void. At this point
in time foreign forces have started playing up their welfare
and interest, cutting down the role of citizen and journalists.
At this moment where such kind of insecurity is spreading fast,
parties should be accountable for the establishment of internal
democracy, defining the national and international policies.
There's a need for common understanding on the issue of foreign
policy as well as security."
Another paper presenter, former president of FNJ Dharmendra
Jha said that ensuring security to journalists was the first
condition to maintain press freedom in the nation, which is
still not secured here. "Searching to establish code of
ethics for journalists would be meaningless if the state fails
to ensure their security," Jha said.
He further added that the state should be
responsible in ensuring journalist's rights. He pointed out
that journalists were not able to disseminate news independently
and freely. "The rights of the journalists cannot be ensured
unless the state assumed the responsibility of ensuring safety
to the journalists, "said Jha.
"The attack over the journalists does
not point out the attack over the only one people, rather it
is the attack over the 'flow of information. The state has almost
stopped to control the press freedom since the establishment
of Democracy. Nevertheless, the state has not able to punish
those who control the press and journalists.
He further added that journalists could be
realized the freedom and independence of press unless security
rights of the journalists maintain. The allegation against the
journalists charged by the state was unacceptable and claimed
that the state had failed to create a secured environment for
the journalists. "Transition can affect over the whole
nation, however does not affect the press," he said and
added that journalists were always in forefront in following
laws and rules in the nation. Furthermore Journalists were also
used by the government as jasjus. The most dangerous point for
them is to be used by others in the name of their good relationship
in different sectors; some journalists might have very good
relationship with Police and Army, some may have with diplomats.
They might be misused for the sake of one's vested interested.
Journalism is an institution where everybody should show their
respect and should be treated as an institution, however it
should not be misused for one's self. A number of journalists
are displaced in our own country, the country must be responsible
for it and the government should create a friendly environment
to work for them.
Kiran Pokhrel, president of Nepal Press Union
emphasized on the importance of trade union. He stated that
NPU, Press Chautari and Nepal Revolutionary Journalists Union
will set a new trade union of journalists if Federation of Journalists
does not convert itself into a trade union. Journalists themselves
must be more responsible in his/ her works. Every journalist
should have the feeling of a citizen of the country and then
the profession. Therefore, they must be liable to the nation,
democracy and other rights. Considering on the nation interest,
the news should be balanced. so many journalists are not secure
in his and her works. The new comers are using media only as
a platform in the present context. The investment of Political
parties in media sector has made less influence and weaken the
security situation of journalists.
Active journalist Binaya Devkota stated that
Nepali Press is promoting criminal activities. Priority of the
issue of 'Don' in newspaper and electronic media has made the
public threat in the society. Instead of making dismiss the
issues of such criminal activities, such publicity has become
an easy medium to make the 'Don' super in the society.
Veteran Journalist and political bureau Chief
of The Himalayan Times Arjun Bhandari said," Almost Editors
in our media are not responsible for readers and journalists
they seem always worried about their owners. It has made the
journalists unsecure in the society. He clearly said that media
is running by business men rather than journalists. Because
of this reason, the media people are facing different hassles.
Editor of Deshantar weekly, Kabir Rana told
that every journalist have to be affiliated with his loyal party
and then full fill his parties' interests. Nepal does not have
enough Democratic Parties. Only the cadres of democratic parties
seem able to work to extend the democracy. The security of journalists
is depended upon the strong democracy in the country.
Jagat Nepal, Secretary of FNJ said that some
journalists write news based on the money given by leaders and
business men. This is how we can not imagine the free and fair
journalism during these days. One of the main reason is keeping
every journalists in the same basket is because of these bitter
Anita Bindu, a prominent News reader of Nepal Television opined
that journalists must follow the case until the victim get justice.
The news will not be commendable if the media people cover the
issues only in a surface level. Whereas, there is no practice
at all in the media sector to go through on deeply on the news.
That has created the major problem to the public to feel secure
in the society.
Junar Babu Basnet from Gorkhapatra Daily gave
more emphasis in the economic sectors of Nepal that has become
more pathetic recently. Our country is running by remittances,
nevertheless, we are not going to systemize on it. This social
issue should be addressed by journalists.
Govinda K C, Journalist From Dailekh addressed
the government and focused the point of its weaknesses. As a
displaced journalist, he was displaced only because of writing
news against the government. However, there is no any initiation
from government's side to journalists. They have not shown even
sympathy to them. This is the unsatisfactory part of the government,
he emphasized more. In the program, Journalists Bishnu Nisthuri,
Bisnu Budhathoki, Kul Chandra Wagle, Badri Sigdel, Hemanta Kafle,
Lekhnath Panday, Nakul Aryal, Anil Giri, Khila Bhandari, Asok
Dahal, Sailaj Nepal, Balkrishna Adhikari, Karun Dhakal etc spoke
about public and press security.
Objectives of the program
- The government must assure the security
- To develop the nation, social security
- There should be press freedom to provide
the social security.
- Journalists are also responsible for the
people, nation and the democracy.
- After the restoration of democracy, many
acts of press freedom have not been implemented.
- The government could not show its responsibilities
towards the journalists after they displaced from their own
- There is no any attractive part in the
journalism field because of these reasons so that many new
comers are getting frustrated gradually.
- Media houses should be governed by the
journalists but not by the business men and politicians.
- Financially the journalism field is so
weak. They are not able to get their salary on time. Very
few of media houses are providing the salary on time.
- There is need of a strong Trade Union which
can work for the journalists' rights.
- Wrapping up: Dev Raj Dahal, Head of FES
highlighted the importance of journalism in this critical
situation. Every citizen must be loyal to the nation; journalists
are also the citizens of the country and they are also equally
accountable to build the nation, whereas, the situation must
be conducive by the nation itself.
- The participated politicians also put emphasis
on the issues of security of journalism and realized the improvement
in the future from their side too. Press and democracy are
interlinked and one can not move without another. The role
of press to make the democracy strong is vital, they further
- Hence, media is the empowered sector for
the voice less people; it has the connectivity with social
sector too. For that reason, media should be free and fair.
It must not be guided by any other elements.