07 December 2007

Nepalese FM Radios in the hands of Political Parties: Trends and Implications

By Harsha Man Maharjan

A discussion is in the town in media sector: political parties are owning FM radios.
Is this a new phenomenon?

No. These parties are publishing weekly papers. They lack readers. Their health is poor.
Now what will happen to these FM radios? Will they become the propaganda tools of parties? Only future can tell.

The Kathmandu Post published a news about the political parties owning forty FM radios in Nepal. This news started discussion this issue.
I think FM radios be they community and commercial are mostly elite-captured in Nepal. And political parties leaders are elites in there hometown. Besides this, it is easy to get FM radio licenses with their political clout. It is difficult to find community in community radios in Nepal.

TKP’s news introduces Rishi Raj Lumsali as a UML leader and brands his Shuklaphanta FM, Kanchanpur as UML FM radio. But he told me that he has left politics and wants to remain independent. He even named TKP’s journalism as ‘yellow journalism’.

So is the case with Narayan Prasad Sharma and his Radio Madhya Paschim, Dang as a Maoist FM. Yes Sharma is a MP nominated by the CPN (Maoist). But the CPN(M) nominated him as a independent MP from civil society. Then, how correct is it to call him a Maoist.

What can be the motive of TKP in bringing this issue out ? We know the Kanitpur FM is on the road to be a national radio as the Radio Nepal. I think it want to send a message to its readers that only we are ‘neutral’? That means commercial FM radios are the best among other kind of FM radio.
Is neutrality possible? I doubt on this.

08 November 2007

Drama ! Simulation ! Rehersal ! Dummy of Sajha Sawal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

People were waiting with abated breath on 7 November 2007 at Martin Chautari discussion hall. What they only knew was some one was playing the role of prime minister of Nepal, Girija Prasad Koirala and BBC World Service Trust was supposed to this. Friends at MC had hoped for a simulation of parliament.

Later during the program Narayan Shrestha, radio journalist who left Radio Sagarmatha for the BBC World Service Trust, told us that they were taking interview with the PM after few days and they were rehearsing that interview at MC. Copy Editor Sharad Chandra Wasti acted as the PM. Shrestha and Sushil Sharma, journalist related to BBC Nepali Service were grilling the PM.

In radio jargon they were recording a dummy copy of the program, Sajha Sawal. BBC World Service Trust will air this program and UNDP supported it. Trust is going to air radio programs targeting Constituent Assembly.

During the program organizer requested s to question the PM. They aired recorded questions from different parts of country. They even entertained phone calls from two places outside Kathmandu. The organizer did them from Martin Chautari office. Program host Shrestha encouraged audience to put question though the organizers had managed few people to do so.

I have never heard other media organization making dummy copy of their program. Radio program production manual urges to make dummy copies. It helps in reducing problems that might crop up during the program.

The program at MC showed poor quality of phone call. That means they have to improve it in real program.

The organizer wanted to know question pattern of audience. It sought feedback from audience after the program. It was in dilemma on which to give priority: national politics or individual problems. Audience were for national politics.

Next Sajha Sawal will be with Maoist leader Prachanda.

07 November 2007

In Memoriam: Journalist Birendra Kumar Shah

Some called him Nepali Daniel Pal.

He is Birendra Shah, a journalist killed by Maoist cadres. He was kidnapped on 5 October 2007 and killed on the same day.

I never meet him. There is a chance. I might have heard his words on Nepal FM without knowing him. He was affiliated to Nepal FM, Avenues TV, Dristi weekly etc.
Now it is clear that Maoist cadre was involved in Shah’s killing. Earlier the CPN (Maoist) had denied their involvement in the incident. Now all fact finding missions tell that Lal Bahadur Chaudhary, Kundan Faujdar , Ram Yekbal Sahani etc are responsible for shah’s killing.

Chadhari was Maoist Area In-charge of Bara District. Other alleged people are also well known Maoist supporters.

But Maoist top leaders are requesting not to take this accident as party’s policy and not to malign the party with this incident.

This reminds me of Nagarkot incident of 14 December 2007. On that day a drunken army Basu Dev Thapa deputed at Nagarkot army barrack opened fired on the civilians at the premises of Shree Kalidevi Temple killing 12 civilians. 19 people sustained injuries in that incident. At that time Royal Nepal Army requested us not to take it as the action of the whole Royal Nepal Army. But no body heeded RNA.

That means Maoist leader must take responsibly of what its cadre did.

Now it is time to discuss on discipline of Maoist leaders and cadres.
Questions arise:

How does the party educate its leaders and cadres ?
Who becomes leaders and how?
Is its cadres and leaders under its control?

On Nagarkot Incident:

05 November 2007

Make Public the Report of High-level Taskforce on Restructuring and Autonomy of Government Media in Nepal

BY Harsha Man Maharjan

It was not supposed to end like this.
I had pinned hope on this. Hope that it would come up with ways of restructuring state media in Nepal.

Nepali government formed a task force to materialize suggestions of High Level Media suggestion Commission about state media in December 2006. It was supposed to present its report to government in two months.

And it has already handed its report to the government. There was no mention about this in media. The government has not made it public.

When I asked about the report, Dhurba Hari Adhikari, a member of the task force informed me that the task force handed its report in his absence. He requested me to call Ministry of Information and communications.. There telephones always remained busy. So I called Badri Bahadur Karki, task force’s chair. Karki informed me that he handed its report in Asar that means about three months ago. He even requested me to knock the door of ministry of information and communication.

Why this kind of silence ? Why is government not making it public ? Questions arise. Answer is simple. Recommendations of task is unfavorable to present government. Without studying the report, people can guess its recommendation. The task force has mandate to materialize recommendations of media commission and the commission had suggested to quit government’s involvement in all state media. But present government is unwilling to do so. It is still interested to meddle with these media.

Where are our rights to information? We have all rights to know recommendations of the task force.

Previous posting on the issue:

Future of High-level Taskforce on Restructuring and Autonomy of Government Media

Last Chance: Restructuring of State Media in Nepal

High Level Media suggestion Commission

05 October 2007

Links for Free Burma

Posters of Than Shwe were attacked by protesters in the Philippines.

About "Free Burma!"
International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.
News: The Free Burma! Petition Widget for your Blog/Website! See our News for more Updates!
Join our list of participants
Show your sympathy for the Free Burma! action and sign our list of participants, whether or not you're a blogger, website owner or someone who wants to point the way to democracy and freedom in Burma!If you are a forum user or admin from a large website you can also participate in our "Groups for Free Burma!" action.

04 October 2007

"Free Burma!"

About Nepalese Media Workers’ Demands: They Don’t Tell US

By Harsha Man Maharjan

We know this week there are tussles going on between Kantipur Publication Pvt. Ltd. and All Nepal Communication, Printing and Publications Workers’ Union (ANCPPWU). Agitating members of ANCPPWU even vandalized vehicles of publication’s management and press when the publication showed no concern to reinstate its nine suspended members.

Many media related organizations, political parties etc condemned ANCPPWU for disrupting activities of newspapers and vandalism. They equate these activities to attack on ‘press freedom ‘and people’s ‘right to information’. These loaded words helped media to eclipse demands of agitating workers. Actually the media have not told their audiences what the demands were. Most of audiences know nothing about the demands. Thus there reporting on the incidents are one-sided.

There are few exceptions. Government-owned media have presented some parts of demand this time. It is said the ANCPPWU presented 22 point demands to the publication. And the management of the publication and members of ANCPPWU came up with five points agreement on 9 September 2007. But the management changed one point while writing the agreement next day. And ANCPPWU declined to sign the agreement and allowed no advertisement to two newspapers on 26 September 2007. So we saw ad less Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post the next day.

The bone of contention in five points agreement was to make all workers who have worked for 240 days permanent. There are many genuine demands. But as mentioned above many readers have no knowledge of these demands.

These media emphasize people’s right to information in ANCPPWU’s action. But they forget it by not informing people about ANCPPWU’s demands. Readers’ have rights to know about the agitating workers’ demands.

At last Moment

Today’s Rajdhani contains few demands of these workers like sick leave, home leave, life insurance etc. These issues got place in news after the demands were handed to PM yesterday.


02 October 2007

Politics of Omission in Nepalese Journalism

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Kantipur TV gave priority to a speech by Salikram Jamakattel on 1 October 2007 in its evening news. He was speaking near Kantipur complex after the publication suspended 9 agitating workers and the agitating workers’ vandalized publications’ vehicles and press.

In a footage he was saying Nepali people would lose nothing in absence of Kantipur Publication’s publications and Kantipur TV. He even challenged to stop KTV in four days and to physically attack owners if workers’ demands are not met. The news highlighted other parts of his speech too.

But it ignored other important parts. Students of Journalism and mass communication might raise questions: Are you mad? How all information of a speech can be incorporated in a news?They might doubt I am a student of mass communication and journalism.

This issue is far complicated than what we think. It is not a question of editing. This becomes clear to me after I listened to Sarad K.C’s reporting on the same speech. He even included that Jammakattel was still positive to talk.

So why KTV did not tell about this to its audiences? The answer is simple it wanted to create negative image of the agitating worker’s and Jamakattel. This way it can neglect workers’ genuine demands. Till Kantipur has not told its readers about its workers’ demands.

This can be said as highlight journalism. Here media organizations pick certain part of somebody’s view to grind their own axe.

It was so even in the case of opposition of Foreign Direct Investment in Media by Nepal Media Society few years ago. At that time NMS provoked its audience to boycott The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post. In it ensued incidents these newspapers were burnt and media organization was vandalized.

We got to read two opinions of same people after going these two papers and media of Nepal Media Society at that time. These two papers focused on condemnation of vandalization whereas others highlighted on condemnation of FDI in Nepali media. It is all media politics and audience should be aware of this.

28 September 2007

Few Aspects of International Nepal Solidarity Network: Interview with Its Creator Sage Radachowsky

By Sage Radachowsky and Harsha Man Maharjan

Sage Radachowsky of Boston, USA created the website, INSN and manages the technical aspects, as well as doing a lot of the editorial work and some original reporting.
Here is unedited interview

Harsha: Hope. INSN got new life after hiatus of few months?

Sage: I think the change in the political situation may be causing renewed interest in INSN activity, including the website. Perhaps the lull inthe process has been broken, with the CPN (M) pulling out of the government.In my personal life, I have been focusing on getting my life in order,and doing my carpentry. I have been dealing with personal life issues,which took all my time, and I could not continue spending time on thewebsite. There were several other people helping greatly with thewebsite, but not all of the time. There was also nobody coming forwardto be a Nepali editor, and because I am not fluent, I could not edit or approve articles in Nepali.There will be an INSN meeting today, which may decide whether thewebsite will revive.

Harsha: Why it was closed at that time?

Sage: It was inactive because of lack of interest among the website team, andtime pressures in everyone's lives to do other work.

Harsha: How INSN came into existence? With what motive?

Sage: INSN came into existence with a meeting in Kathmandu among Nepali andforeign activists who all were interested in democracy and peace. Thereis not a firm and fixed agenda, but there is a general consensus of political views that is large enough to work as a coalition and anetwork for the common causes.

Harsha: Is it a blog or a website?

Sage: It is a website, but it allows comments on the articles, so it may havethe feeling of a blog when there is an active discussion about anarticle. It also has served as a place where documents of all kinds could be found -- from the CPN (M) statements to statements and articles but various NGOs and other organizations.

Harsha: Who were engaged in this website in the beginning?

Sage: Many people in INSN have helped greatly from the beginning. I don't wantto make a list myself, because I would omit many people. But it is surethat Usha Titikshu has provided many photographic essays, and Bela Malikwas instrumental in giving an editorial direction, until her sudden illness one year ago. We also have regular contributors such as Maheswor Shrestha, Pramod Dhakal, and Moti Chamling. For a while, Rewati Sapkotawas providing timely news articles. We have also had help in translating from Nepali to English from several people, and technical help fromseveral people.

Harsha: We know Royal government cut internet connection for about a weekon 1 Feb 2005. http://insn.org/ow INSN could post comments and web links related to the coup next day? How It worked after 1 February 2005?

Sage: I flew out of Kathmandu on the day after the coup, and from Boston andGeneva I was able to make posts related to the royal takeover. I also had exported photographs and information with me in a USB drive. There was a great amount of information about the coup from other sources inthe international media as well, even while the internet was blocked within Nepal. The embassies and UN also had internet connections viasatellite, which helped in getting information from Nepal.

Harsha: How did you take the blocking of website? Did this action popularize the site ?

Sage: We took the road of publicizing the blocking of the website, along with Samudaya.org which was also blocked, to protest about censorship in thepress generally. We stand for freedom of information and freedom of the press, so it is natural that we apply the same principle to our ownwebsite. We also used the numerical IP address of the website() to allow people in Nepal to access the site. Thegovernment of Nepal had forced the internet service providers to blockthe name of the website, but they were not able to block the numeric URL.I think that being censored did popularize the site. This is good,because it proves that censorship does not work easily. If some personor group is speaking truth or providing an open forum for dialogue, thenit is clear that shutting it down is a symptom of autocracy, and it only proves that the emperor has no clothes.

Harsha:How it was operated in time of blocking?

Sage: When the website was blocked, it was operated normally, except that alllinks were changed to the numeric IP address instead of "insn.org ", andwe publicized the numeric address to allow people to view it.

Harsha: Do you think that people forget INSN while speaking about media's role after 1 Feb 2005 Royal coup?

Sage: I don't know. I don't think that the INSN website is a major mediaoutlet about Nepal. I think it has a role and a place as a grassroots outlet for opinions and information, but it is not a major media operation like Kantipur or Samaya or any other publications. In my opinion, it is more for consumption by the international audience, whogets their news about Nepal on the internet, and who also want to see the statements from NGOs and the special photo essays and point of viewof INSN.org.

Harsha: Can you tell us through which process an article goes before it ispublished?

Sage: Some regular writers simply get approved by a single person on thewebsite team. When there is an article from a new author, it may be sentto the INSN website email list for comments from many people, and then there is a general consensus to publish it or not. It is often apractical matter, where whoever receives the article makes their own decision. On occasion, there has been internal controversy after anarticle was published. Then, the article was removed until we had someinternal discussion about it. There is not a single formula, but ingeneral, the INSN.org website publishes many points of view, even when it may not agree with many of the website team's opinions. We prefer topublish and then have discussion, instead of having some kind of "partyline" or single point of view.

Harsha: Tell us about your readers.

Sage: Judging from the comments, readers seem to be many non-resident Nepalis around the world, as well as non-Nepalis who are interested in Nepal.Some seem to be Maoist supporters around the world, while others seem tobe very strong anti-Maoist people. Most seem to be somewhere in the middle, however. There are also many readers who do not post comments,who may work in NGOs or government offices who do work relating toNepal. Many people report in personal communications that they have used INSN.org as a resource in learning more about the situation in Nepal.The website team has been proud of fulfilling this role.

Harsha: Tell us more about INSN team.The INSN.org team is a subgroup of the INSN network.

Sage: There are about 30people on the INSN.org website team, although most of those people donot work actively. Some have worked very actively for a short period of time, and others have provided opinions and comments when they havethem. The website team seems to be about one third Nepalis in Nepal,one third non-resident Nepalis, and one third non-Nepalis both insideand outside Nepal.

INSN.org was banned
Access to this website was blocked in Nepal on 1 July 2005 by the Royal Nepal Army's orders to Internet Service Providers. See RSF statement , INSN.org statement , and Kantipur Online article . We are mirrored at for access in Nepal, if your provider blocks access. This ban was lifted in May 2006 after the partial victory of the People's Movement. If you cannot access INSN.org from your ISP, please call them to ask to unblock access, and let us know, email webmaster@insn.org.


photo source:

23 September 2007

Janadisha, Nepali Daily is Back

By Harsha Man Maharjan

On 18 September 2007 CPN (Maoist) quit the government.

On the same day people saw a sample issue of daily Janadisha which supports CPN(Maoist).
The sample issue was supposed to be free. But bookshop owner asked me Rs. 5. He told me that it was for transportation he used to get papers. I gave him the money.

In the place it has written 7. This daily was found in market until the government declared state of emergency on 26 Novemnber 2001. Journalists related The Janadesh Weekly, the Janadisha Daily and also the Disabodh Monthly etc supporting CPN(Maoist) were imprisoned. Human rights organizations claim that its editor Krishan Sen was killed in police custody.
Now Govinda Acharya is its editor. This sample issue contains vacancies for reporters at Kathmandu and other districts. It is supposed to come on this week.

Hope this paper will go for peaceful movement and dialogue.

links on Krishna Sen and Janadisha

20 September 2007

Baring Fox TV Channel

By Harsha Man Maharjan

On 16 september I got chance to watch Robert Greenwald‘s documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. So far as I know this documentary is unavailable in Nepali market.

Michael Moore’s documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11 that came in same year, 2004, is easy to find in different video parlors here. I must thank Saphala for providing me the documentary. Recently she returned from the US. And she brought it into Nepal.
It was BBC TV’s program Talking Movies that informed me about the documentary. I wanted to watch it on the same day.

Talking Movies informed me that that the documentary unveils one-sided news of Fox news channel. It opposed Clinton government and supported Bush government. In the documentary, Greenwald and his team have found certain techniques that Fox TV uses like conservative experts.

Other way is to dominate and humiliate speakers. I have seen no news and talk host in Nepal who humiliate their speakers. But it is the rule in Fox TV. In one program Bill O'Reilly, a host demoralized and bullied Jeremy Glick a young man whose father was killed in the attack on 9/11. Bill O'Reilly shows anger on Glick‘s anti-war sentiment.

It is said that “Fair and Balance” is the motto of Fox tv. What this documentary shows through its own footage is this is wrong.

Formers media workers of Fox TV and media critiques speak about Fox‘s biased reporting in the documentary. The memo of news editorial chief, John Moody which he gave to his employees shows the true color Fox TV.

In Nepalese context it is difficult to find this kind of corporate control in media. But we have government-owned media supporting views of Minister of Communication and Information, and partisan media blindly support particular political parties and their fractions.

The documentary urges viewers to use different news sources and come at own conclusion. It also requests to complain at FCC if people think media are presenting biased news. Nepalese also need to do same thing.

Beware of media. Coz media power is a political power as Ben Bagdikian says. And power corrupts us.


19 September 2007

No BBC World Service in 103 Mhz

By Harsha Man Maharjan

For few days there is no BBC World service in 103 Mhz. I came to know about this yesterday.
After Maoist quit the government I was searching authentic voice of CPN (Maoist).
I tuned 103 Mhz in my mobile phone and I was surprised to find Radio Nepal in place of BBC world service.

On 19 September 2007 Khagendra Nepali, former BBC Nepali Service Head was the guest lecture in our class. During the interaction he informed us that it might be a technical problem.

According to BBC's website BBC Nepal service can be heard through following FM radio:
Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 FM in Kathmandu; Radio Kalika 95.2 FM in Bharatpur, Chitwan; Radio Birgunj 99 FM in Birgunj; Radio Annapurna 93.4 FM in Pokhara; Radio Himchuli 92.2 FM in Pokhara; Radio Lumbini 96.8 FM in Manigram; Butwal FM 94.4 in Butwal; Radio Saptakoshi 90 FM in Itahari and Radio Bheri 106.4 FM in Surkhet.

18 September 2007

INSN: End of Power Nap

By Harsha Man Maharjan

At last INSN is ALIVE. Hope it was a power nap. After many months of hiatus it got life. Congrats INSN.

This website played important role after Feb 1 2005 coup. The coup compelled INSN to change its course. It was suppose to focus on foreign relations of Nepal.

It is the first website to post Usha Titichhu's photo of army controlling the station of Radio Sagarmatha.on Feb 1 2005. It gave space to post dissenting voices.

We still need INSN. There is still long way to go.

Pls visit the website and send your comments, articles.

It contains articles by Maheswor Shrestha. Thanks to him and team of this website.

04 September 2007

Sagarmatha Television: "Get Me a Murder a Day"

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Live ‘exclusive’ of Sagarmatha Television on the occasion of serial bomb blasts in three palaces of Kathmandu on 02 August 2007 reminded me of the title of Kevin William’s book Get Me Murder a Day.
This book presents history of mass communication in Britain.“Get Me a Murder a Day: the Northcliffe Revolution and the Rise of the Popular Press” is the title of its chapter 3. This chapter tells how sensational newspaper and magazine started in late 19th century and early 20th century in Britain.

Like print media in Britain at that time, Sagarmatha TV presented the bomb blast incident in sensational way. It showed raw footage of blast at Tripureshow that was captured just few minutes after the blast. That footage was terrifying. People were thrown here and there. There was a charred (?) person who seemed to be killed at the spot. Sagarmatha TV telecasted this unedited footage naming it a rare footage which only the TV channel had.

This is the first incident that Sagarmatha got to telecast live. Till 1 August 2007, it lacked materials and was reading newpapers’ articles to cover its time. So the tv channel took these incidents as a golden opportunity to show its talent. It gave not a fig that these kinds of gory footage can terrorize people.

Other Nepali FM and tv channels were informing people that bomb blasting took place at three places. But Sagarmatha was repeatedly saying people that blasting took place in four places. Till 8’o clock, Sagarmatha was informing same information. It only terrified people in the name of informing them about the blasts.

02 September 2007

Nepali Bookshops Cheating Prices of Foreign Books

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Today I visited Bhrikuti Pustak tatha Masalanda Bhandar, a book shop near Ratna Rajya Campus at Kathmandu. I bought few books for Martin Chautari Media Documentation Centre. There I saw Douglas Kellner 's Media Spectacle. I asked its price. I had already bought it from Mandala Book Point on Nepalese Rs. 1904 few days ago. Actually my interest was to know the price of the book. I know this shop keeps high rate for foreign books. What they do is check internet and put the price accordingly.

Could you believe the price a guy in Bhrikuti told me ? It is Nepali Rs. 2975. I had discussed about this issue with Anjan Shrestha, owner of Educational Book House, few months before. He was aware of Bhrikuti's behaviour. He told me that generally his rule is to put price according to what he has paid for books.

That means Bhrikuti is placing high price for foreign books. It is unfair. If you don't believe about this, please check price of a foreign (not indian) publication in few bookshop. You will come with different prices. This happens if the book is published by Sage, Routledge etc.

Readers must be aware of this. Other books shops migbt be indulge in same kind of cheatings. Readers beware.

29 August 2007

Why Scrap Royalty of Cable Operators in Nepal ?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

I am still not satisfied with government’s agreement to scrap 4 percent royalty. I see no reason to do this. These operators are run for profit. Government has rights to impose royalty on these cables.

Article 11 of The National Broadcasting Regulation, 2052 (1995) demands 4 percent royalty of income from broadcasting institutions. These institutions include both private radios, private TV and cable operators .

I have Kriti Cable Network at my home. It is transmitting a channel called Kriti Cable Network(KCN) and is showing music videos. The National Broadcasting Regulation, 2052 (1995) does not bar them from transmitting educational programs. They are not doing this.

The Nepal Cable TV Association is right: a separate law is needed to be framed for governing the cable sector.

But the government has even accepted to reduce the renewal fees. Before providing these kinds of facilities to the cable operators, government must oblige them to broadcast educational and informative programs related to local issues through their channels.

The National Broadcasting Regulation, 2052 (1995)

17 August 2007

Radio Wave is not for Sale

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Few weeks ago I called Kumar Bhattarai. He is the guy who got licenses to operate radio at nine places: Nepalgunj, Kaski, Parsa, Chitwan, Sindhupalchwok, Dipayal, Dhankuta, Humla, Mustang. The licenses are awarded in the name of Nobel Broadcasting Centre Private Ltd. I want to know the reason for this. During my conversation with him, he told me that he is an engineer and a business.

And he has every right to own these numbers of radios. He scolded me for not showing this much of commonsense, even being a student of journalism and mass communication. I replied him that air wave is not for sale. I told this to him but I know it is state's responsibility to check this.


16 August 2007

News Unfit to Publish in Kantipur about Birendra Dahal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Many people came to know about Birendra Dahal's Fast to death from Kantipur, a Nepali daily. We are told by Kantipur and other media that Birendra started his fast to death on 12 August 2007. And he would only end this fasting till the Maoists give written commitment not to interfere and attack Nepali media. HBC FM was closed on 7 August 2007. Kantipur highlighted this episode with photos. More than this, this incident was alleged to be political.

Other newspapers introduced him as the manager of the HBC FM. Actually in his press release he had given no designation. Kantipur TV even broadcasted visual of Harihar Dahal supporting another Dahal.

Birendra's fast to death is going on. But the Joint Movement Committee of HBC FM on Tuesday revealed that it is Birendra himself who closed FM station from its tower at Halchowk on August 7. According to Amrit Kharel of Ganatantrik Radiokarmi Munch, Brindra, did this when media persons of HBC demanded to increase their remuneration and facilities.

The Kathmandu Post carried news on 15 August 2007 about the Joint Movement Committee of HBC FM's concern about the so-called fast to death of Birendra. But Kantipur daily gave no space to the issue.

We must think over this issue. If we go minutely through Kantipur news' about the closure of HBC FM in its edition of 8 August 2007, we can find that the newspaper has blamed Republican Radio Workers’ Forum (RRWF) for closing the FM station. Actually it is mistake of the management team of HBC.

This incident also makes me skeptic about the closure of Annapurna Post and The Himalayan Times this week. Was the union solely responsible for the closure of two newspapers? Why the newspapers which published appeals against APCA house in 2004
are carrying advertisements in support of APCA this week ? Answers are simple. It is all about media politics.

13 August 2007

Sagarmatha TV underpaying its reporter.

By Harsha Man Maharjan

New media houses help in breaking dominance of established media houses. Two new tv channels: Avenues and Sagarmatha have started its telecast in Nepali. They are opening new avenues for journalists to show their talent.

I don't know much about Avenues. But I have heard a rumour about Sagarmatha TV that this channel only recruits reporters is new and fresh faces only to give them small amount of remuneration. Most of them are working for Rupees less than three thousand only.
One of my friends applied for a reporter in the tv channel. She has passed B.A. in mass communication and journalism. The management of the channel did not summon her for even an interview.

Now it has recruited 20 reporters. No doubt most of them are underpaid. Now organizations working for the welfare of media persons must think over the issue.

In the report, The Changing Nature of Work: A Global Survey and Case Study of Atypical Work in the Media Industry, prepared ILO and IFJ present the trend of using new fresh faced so that they can be inadequately paid.

30 July 2007

One Sided view about Trade unions in Media Houses.

These days dalies in Nepal are criticizing CPN (Maoist ) for opening trade union in media houses. Articles and editorials on the issues are in media. They think these unions are for checking criticism of CPN (Maoist) in these media houses.

This is only a part of the issue. We know media workers in Nepali media are in poor condition. These unions help in collective bargaining of the workers in these media. But these media houses are showing no will to empower their workers. And they are criticizing these unions for their political affiliation. Now it is time to think about the welfare of media workers in Nepal and to evaluate the role of Federation of Nepalese Journalists and other trade unions.


17 July 2007

Blessings for Avenues TV.

By Harsha Man Maharjan

There is a good news. Avenues TV began its testing broadcasting on 16 July 2007.
It is a news channel of Ad avenues Nepal, an ad agency. Many people presented their well wishes to the tv channel.

Among them, Pashupati Shumsher Rana hoped that it will be popular like Aaj Tak in India. Is this good wish? I know Aaj Tak is the no 1 news channel in India. But it has a problem. Like other channels there, it focuses on tamasha or trifle issues. Hope Avenues tv will not go for it.

Babu Ram Bhattari thinks it is better to counter some channels who serve few people. He didn't name them. I think he was pointing fingers at Kantipur TV. Is he right ? Well I really don't have the answer.

16 July 2007

+2 Jataras in Nepali Media: Flood of Advertisements and Advertorials

By Harsha Man Maharjan

This is time of SLC result. And the festival of + 2. Every newspaper is full of advertisements of these colleges. Today's The Himalayan Times (16 July 2007) published supplement of eight pages devoting these colleges.

Magazines are not exception. Himal Khabar Patrika, a Nepali fortnightly magazine of year 17 vol.6 (no. 188) has earmarked about 40 pages on +2 as special report. It contain about 20 advertorials of 20 colleges.

Samaya, a weekly magazine did same in its no. 164. It has published 23page cover story on +2s. It included about 7 advertorials and some features which were similar to advertorials.
Getting advertisement of colleges is good for media sector. I know this is time for these media to earn money.

Is it good for readers? This question arises.

Going through the content of these media related to +2 businesses in Nepal, I must say they are critical to unhealthy competition and jhuth ko kheeti or crop of falsehood being done by these colleges through advertisements. But they can show no guts to pin point the wrong doers. Going through Chhalphal (year 25, vol. 39) I found it more critical than those magazines and daily papers.

I think this is the result of the money these media get from these advertisements and advertorials.

05 July 2007

CJMC Community Radio in Air, Where is TU FM of RR Campus ?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

College of Journalism and Mass Communication began its radio, CJMC Community Radio 106 on Asar 14 2064 (28 June 2007). Principal and Director of The College of Journalism and Mass Communication of the college informed me that that cost Rs, 8,00,000. According to her the college invested whole money.

It is on air in 106.00 MHz. It has capacity of 100 watt.

When will Ratna Rajya begin its radio? I know this campus too had got license to air TU FM 107 of 50 watt. And it got the license about one month earlier than CJMC.

Theoretically it is easy for Government College to start radio. We even have a sound proof studio. I have entered the studio few times during practical classes. But the campus is using it sparsely.

Badri Poudel of the RR College informed me that the department is doing nothing on the issue. He thinks for radio operation requires new studio and he and his colleagues are discussing about the issue.

I know the pathetic condition of the college. Financially it is weak and this stops many ways of improving facilities in the department Yet it would have been easy for the government campus to approach donors to support the radio.

RR campus has introduced the course on electronic media. It is the right time to start radio. Like CJMC, RR needs to request donors like UNESCO and other for help.

about campus radio:

aboout CJMC community radio:

22 June 2007

Unholy Alliance of Media Owners in Nepal against Media Workers

By Harsha Man Maharjan

On 11 June 2007, I was surprised to see Nepali daily Kantipur in eight pages only. Its sisterly paper The Kathmandu Post, was in black & white. The kantipur publication shrouded a big incident in the publication in the name of technical problem.
Next both newspapers had news on their management letting All Nepal Communication, Press and Publications Workers' Association (ANCPPWA) to open its unit in the publication.

Actually slim Kantipur and B/W The Kathmandu Post are the result of ANCPPWA's pressure to let them open it's unit in the publication.

Now similar issue has cropped on in the Kamana Prakashan. This prakashan out sources Customers Solution Pvt Limited to hawk its publications. Now these hawkers affialiated to ANCPPWA wants to open a unit in the Kamana Prakashan. Pushkar Lal of the Kamana Prakashan denied their rights and closed the publication for few days. He blames the agitating hawkers for doing politics in the Prakashan and diluting so called independent media house.

In a discussion program aired by Nepal FM on 21 June 2007, Ramesh Badal opined that the hawkers have rights to open the unit and the Kamana Prakhasan must protect its workers. He even informed that Nepali media houses are exploiting media workers.

Today Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post have written editorials and news on the issue in favour of the the Kamana Prakashan. Even Nepali daily, Himalaya Times has wrote news in support of the Kamana Prakashan. They quote Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) and political parties and blame the whole action as the interference in the prakashan.

The Kantipur publication is showing sympathy to the Kamana Prakashan on the issue as both are experiencing the same. But on the issue of media concentration in Nepal the Kamana Prakhan opposed the Kantipur Publication.

Links on ANCPPWA in Kantipur Publication:

Links on ANCPPWA in Kamana Prakashan:

18 June 2007

Nepal 1 Forced 8 Journalists to Leave Thier Job

By Harsha Man Maharjan

My friends at college today were discussing about the return of Sushil Kharel. He left Masters class of Journalism and mass communication to work in Nepal 1 tv channel.

I search for this issue in google. I came upon a blog: Solidarity with Nepal1 fight:
It has two postings:
1. Nalini's Torture Forced Eight Journalists Displaced from Delhi
2. Get Up Stand Up ...Stand Up for your Right

About the blog, it says this:
"This blog has been created to express solidarity with all the Nepal One staffs who have dared to stand up and fight against the tyrrany and atrocities of Nepal One management...the struggle initiated by the nepal one staffs was exemplerary and a milestone in protecting the fundamental rights of television journalists ...Kudos to all the Nepal one staffs..."

According to the blog, Nepal 1 forced eights jopurnalists: Rajendra khanal, Chiranjivi Devkota, Divyajoyti Misra, Pradip Giri, Sushil Kharel, Lily Bhaidya, Madhu Bhattarai and Aarati KC .

I know there was an agreement between the Nepal 1 and its journalists.
Rewati Sapkota, a journalist working in the tv channel informed in an media discussion program organized by Martin Chautari that the agreement could not improve relation between them and the management of Nepal 1. Even Kishor Nepal, its news editor could do nothing to improve the relation.

I support this fight. I think now the legal fight will begin and these journalists will get justice. But it is not as easy as it appears. Nepal 1 is not registered in Nepal.

Pls visit the blog and show your solidarity to this fight

10 June 2007

Twice Mistake by KTV

By Harsha Man Maharjan

I was amazed to a book name Arresting God in Nepal in the yesterday's news in Kantipur Television. It was the second time. It named this way in previous news few days before too.

Actually the name of the book is Arresting God in Kathmandu. How did those mistakes take place?

The news even informed that 11th Book fair lasted for 10 days. It is 8 days only.

07 June 2007

Political Appointments in Gorkhapatra Sasthan and Nepal Television Corporation

By Harsha Man Maharjan

At last on 5 June 2007 Minister of Communication and Information, Krishna Bahadur Mahara has has done two political appointments: Om Sharma as executive chairman of the Gorkhapatra Corporation and Rishi Raj Baral as chairman of the Nepal Television Corporation.

It shows that the CPN (Maoist) want to toe the line of other political parties. Even in past political parties misused government owned media when they were in power and demanded for autonomy when they were in opposition. I can only hope that Mohara will not regret for what he did today when he will be in opposition.

It would have been better if chairpersons are from the same corporations who know all activities of the corporation. We should not forget the appointment in NTV of writer Benju Sharma. Many staffs in NTV experienced hardship in dealing with her.

03 June 2007

Stale News on Kukur Biralo in Gorkhaptra

By Harsha Man Maharjan

We have a phrase: stale as yesterday's news. It seems that Gorkhaptra, government owned Nepali newspaper does not know this.

On June 3, 2007 it has published news with the headline 'Kukur Biralo' in Market on second page.

Kukur Biralo is an audio cassette produced by Subash Regmi. The news only has information on the producer and singers. It has no extra information .

Actually this is the cassette singer Badri Pangeni and his colleagues are lobbying with government to ban. They think it demean the folk singers. But news says nothing about this. The news appears to be a public relations materials. How could journalist who did that news forget this kind of important aspects? This incident helps to know the process of news making. Generally there must be personal contacts to get coverage in media.

It definitely shows laziness of some reporters in Gorkhapatra.

02 June 2007

Future of High-level Taskforce on Restructuring and Autonomy of Government Media

By Harsha Man Maharjan

I usually contact Dhurba Hari Adhikary, journalist to know more about some media issues. He is a member in the task force to restructure government media. This task force has not presented its report. I call him to know about the present state of the task force.

He requested me to call Kiran Shrestha of Ministry of Information and communications.

Earlier Raghu Mainali told me that the task force is not working and government is not in position to stop meddling in these media. Few weeks before Kantipur daily made a news related to new recruitment of the CPN (Maoist) supporting journalists in Radio Nepal and TV. Tej Prakash Pandit of Gorkhpatra Corporation has stopped visiting Gorkhaptra and there is information that the CPN (Maoist) has proposed Rishiraj Baral in place of Benju Sharma in NTV.

But Kiran Shrestha informed that they are preparing draft of the report. Hope this time, government will pave a way to make these media really autonomous.

31 May 2007

Why Kantipur Publication Rejected Advertisement of Rakta Kunda of Worth Rs. 62,000.00?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Rakta Kunda is a novel which depicts Nepalese Royal family in negative way. Many people can’t say whether the fact it presented is accurate or not.

Khagendra Bhattarai, owner of Pairavi Book is sole distributor of the book. He informed me that the book has been published in 50,000 nos. It is Khagendra dai who informed me on 11 Magh 2063(25 Jan 2007) that he was publishing a color advertisement of the book in the front page of next day’s Kantipur. He requested me to read the ad. He was publishing the ad of Rs. 62,000.00 through Spectrum Advertising and Media consultant. Next day the ad did not appear in the newspaper. I thought some thing might have happened.

When I met Khagendra dai after few months I asked about the ad. I could not believe what he told me. On 11 Magh he was sure of the ad till 9 pm. At 9 pm Marketing Department of Kantipur Publication informed Bhattaria and ad agency that management had decided not to run the ad. Bhattari still has the returned cheque.

What is the reason behind this? Did the publication see the threat of law suit from royal family? Actually the royal family even condemned the book publicly. Now question arises. Is publication responsible for each and every ad it publishes? I think advertisers are legally responsible for ads.

I know management can stop some materials from publishing if it thinks that they are harmful for the publication. But Rakta Kunda’s case is different. I know there are few community FM radio stations which have guidelines for choosing ads. I have never heard this kind of incident before. Isn’t this interference of management in the business of publication?
Before this, even in the case of a business man Rasendra Bhattarai, I think there was pressure from management to provide unnecessary publicity to the business man. Former editor of Kantipur, Yuba Raj Ghimire tendered his resignation due to this behaviour of management. He even wrote an article on this issue in magazine, Samaya.

Source of photo: http://www.monikaa.uni.cc/forum/index.php?topic=16.msg58

30 May 2007

No advertorial this time

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Have you notice an advertisement about the eleventh Nepal Education & Book Fair 2007 in Kantipur daily? This is a regular program of Global Exposition & Management Services (P) Ltd. (GEMS) is organizing this event.

Last year it published advertorials many days before the event. This year it is not doing this. Santosh Chhetri of GEMS told me that last year book shops about which he could not provide advertorials were not happy with him. Ruskin Bond, writer is inaugurating the event. The book exhibition will begin from 1-9 June 2007.

Pls visit my last year's posting on the book fair.


More on Ruskin Bond:


29 May 2007

MA II year(Mass Communication and Journalism) questions of Tribhuwan University, Nepal

Below are old questions Shubraj Shilpakar provided me.

Tribhuvan University
Master Level/II Year/ Humanities Full Marks: 100
Nepalese Media System and Journalism (JMC. 515)
Group "A"
(Long- answer Questions
1. Describe the national and international conditions in which print , audio and audio–visual media have emerged in Nepal.
2. What are the objectives of National Communication Policy, 2049 B.S. ? Why policy interventions does it make achieve these objectives?
3. Give a brief account of media regulation system in Nepal. How do you evaluate the implementation aspects of Nepalese media regulations?
4. "Nepal has made big achievements in community radio broadcasting." Do you agree?
Group "B"
5. How do production houses and broadcasting stations differ from each other?
6. What are the different kinds of broadcasting services functioning in Nepal?
7. What is the role of private sector in the development of films in Nepal?
8. Explain the present status of Right to Information in Nepal.
9. Assess the relevance of the long-term Communication Policy, 2059B.S.
10. Why has foreign investment in media been a topical issue in Nepal?

Tribhuvan University
Master Level/II Year/ Humanities Full Marks: 100
Nepalese Media System and Journalism (JMC. 515)
Group "A"
(Long- answer Questions
1. Describe the major components of the long term communication policy of Nepal, 2059 B.S. How do you look at the relevance of this policy in comparison with previous policy (2049) ?
2. What are the basic components of a media system and how are they functioning in Nepal ?
3. Hoe do you evaluate the financial conditions of Nepalese broadsheet dailies? Compare this with the financial status of weekly newspapers.
4. Write a brief outline of the film industry development in Nepal. Which period is called the 'golden age 'of Nepali cinema and why?

Group "B"
(Short –answer Questions)
5. Why is Radio Sagarmatha described as a pioneering broadcasting orgation not only in Nepal, but in whole South Asia?
6. How should a National Broadcasting Authority function?
7. Describe the debate over ownership control in Nepalese media industry.
8. Can we consider the "Sanad" of B.S. 1958 as an early Nepalese media policy document?
9. Describe the status of book publishing in Nepal.
10. Discuss the strengths and Weaknesses of Journalists Code of Conduct, 2060 B.S.
Tribhuvan University
Master Level/II Year/ Humanities Full Marks: 100
Nepalese Media System and Journalism (JMC. 515)

Group "A"
(Long- answer Questions)
1. What are your observations about market expansion of mass media in Nepal after 1990? Who are the new players of this period?
2. Give brief account of the situation when radio in Nepal has emerged and developed.
3. Describe advertisement policies being practical in the country. Give your suggestion to improve them.
4. What are the basic differences between the Nepalese legal system governing media before and after 1990?

Group "B"
(Short –answer Questions)
5. What kind of priority is given to media sector in the government planning? Give brief answer referring to the 10th Five –Year Plan.
6. 'Communication for development!' What this slogan symbolizes in the course of Nepalese media development.
7. Write about the influence of politics in Nepalese media.
8. Give a brief historical account of Book publishing in Nepal.
9. What is the major focus and characteristics of most of the feature services in Nepal?
10. Why is it believed that the situation of Nepalese films is declining these days?

Tribhuvan University
Master Level/II Year/ Humanities Full Marks: 80
Comparative Press Laws and Media System (JMC.511)
1. Differentiate media system between USA and UK. How are the media system characterized with the media in the SAARC region?
2. Describe the theories of the press laws. Why are the press laws guided from conventional theories? Explain with suitable examples.
3. What provisions for press laws are depicted from western countries to the developing countries? Describe the basis of press freedom and censorship.
4. What is the concept of Press Council in general? Explain the structure and functions of press council with reference to Nepal.
5. Explain media and legal system in Nepal.
6. Why are libel and contempt of court more sensitive in the media environment? Explain briefly.
7. Define journalistic privileges and their significance.
8. Describe the problem of practices of privacy and liability of physical harm.
9. Describe the Asian media system and the press.
10. Explain the structural and organizational perspectives of news gathering system.

Tribhuvan University
Master Level/II Year/ Humanities Full Marks: 80
Comparative Press Laws and Media System (JMC.511)
Group "A"
(Long- answer Questions)
1. Discuss modern theories of press law and explain how these theories influence different press laws.
2. Differentiate the press laws of UK and those of South ASEAN countries.
3. What are the different between legal provisions and ethical regulations of press ? Explain.
4. Critically analyze the concept of Press Council system with references to Nepal.

(Short- answer Questions)
5. Explain how the laws of libel and of copyright affect the media in Nepal.
6. What are the provision of Defamation Act of India and UK? Give examples.
7. Compare and contrast the laws concerning privacy and liability for physical harms. Discuss.
8. What are the major problems that journalists face while gathering news? Discuss with structural and organizational perspective.
9. Why is contempt of court more sensitive and emotional in the media field? Explain with examples.
10. Explain 'press freedom and censorship are two sides of coin.'

Development Communication and Journalism (JMC.517)

Group "A"
1. How do the exemplars of the dominant paradigm conceptulise the role of communication for development? Describe.
2. The importance of the critical approach to communication research, particularly in the Asia cannot be overstated because this approach can be productive in stimulating social change in a structural sense. Why?
3. Describe the new communication function of participatory media in the context of another development strategy.
4. How was the role of development communication conceptualized in the Nepalese economic development plans over the last fifty years. Discuss.

Group "B"

5. What recommendations were made by the International Commission for the study of communication problems in regard to new communication policies relevant to level study?
6. Distinguish the type of development studies known as macro societal level study from the micro level study.
7. What do you understand by Asian Perspective on Communication Theory?
8. What is the development of underdevelopment?
9. Describe with a diagram Learner's model of Development Communication.
10. What are the main approaches to Development Communication?

Development Communication and Journalism (JMC.517)

Group "A"
(Long- answer Questions)
1. Examine the fatal flaws in communication approach to modernization theory.
2. Describe the role of the Internet in rural development.
3. What are the issues raised by an ethical perspective of development communication? Discuss with special references to Nepali cases.
4. What are the challenges facing Nepalese journalists who are practicing environment al journalism at the community media level? Discuss.

Group "B"
(Short - answer Questions)
5. National Planning Commission of Nepal and development communication.
6. Development communication in the empowerment framework.
7. The folk media in development communication.
8. ACB model of Westley and MacLean.
9. Alternative perspectives on development.
10. Nepali television reporting o rural development in Nepal.

International and Inter-Cultural Communication and Media (JMC.506)
Group "A" 3×20=60
(Long- answer Questions)
1. Discuss theoretical approaches to international communication in the past and present. Describe in detail one of theories and make a short description of four of the remaining theories.
2. Define culture and explain intercultural communication, with emphasis on intercultural communication effectiveness. List and explain personal and objective factors important for intercultural communication (facilitating it of making it more difficult).
3. Does global culture really exist? Do media and to creation of global culture?
4. The approaches to communication and media within UN structure (UN and its agencies, i.e. UNESCO, ITU, WTO, etc) have been changing in the course of history. Describe different stands taken by the organization and its agencies. Show your acquaintance wit documents (with these institutions), which have had consequences for international communication


5. Describe the main ideas and postulates of Information Society. How did the idea originate and which institutions are currently involved in fostering it ?
6. Write about two non-governmental international organizations, which actions are either directly connected with media, or have some influence on international media.
7. In the international context , what do alternative media mean? How are they different from 'mainstream media'?
8. How should new technologies be introduced in developing countries? What are dangers and advantages of new technologies in developing countries?
9. What factors make the reception of foreign media contents and audience attitude to these contents positive? What factors create hostile environment for reception of foreign media texts?
10. How have technologies facilitated the formation of multimedia, international corporations? Describe one such company.

International and Inter-Cultural Communication and Media (JMC.506)
Group "A" 3×20=60
(Long- answer Questions)
1. Why do people from different cultures want to communicate? Do you think such communication is possible? How can this be made easier?
2. Can we call eastern cultures traditional? Which are the distinctive characteristics of traditional cultures ? How do cultures vary with one another in conceptualizing time and space, in communication patterns and collective or individual approach to members of the society?
3. What does 'liberalization in communication and media markets' mean? What are the implications of international media markets deregulation and what are the consequences for international communication of rapid expansion of new technologies?
4. Discuss different forms of internationalization and localization in media international market. What are their relations to the culture(s)?

5. What are national stereotypes? What role do they play in the international communication?
6. Explain the ideas of free flow of information and dependency theory. (including structural dependency).
7. What are the relations between intercultural and international communication?
8. Depict any international intergovernmental organization, which influences the media at international and national level.
9. How are some indigenous media organizations in developing countries forced to transform themselves because of the presence (and operation) of foreign media Analyze some examples.
10. Why does a good understanding of a foreign language alone not be enough for effective intercultural understanding?

International and Inter-Cultural Communication and Media (JMC.506)
Group "A" 3×20=60
(Long- answer Questions)

1. What are the similarities between intercultural and international communications? How do you understand intercultural communication in Nepali context?
2. What are the main differences between western and non-western cultures? How do the patterns of thinking and communicating differ?
3. Which of the UN agencies are crucial for international communication and in what way?
4. Is globalization in media a reality of myth? Justify your opinion. What are the indicators, characteristics and effect of globalization? What is the counter-force to globalization?
Group "B"
(Long- answer Questions) 4×10=40
5. How should the new technologies be introduced into traditional societies?
6. By 1994, CNN, BBC became significant players in the arena of international communication. Why?
7. Influence of the new technology on inter-cultural communication process. Explain.
8. What could be the stumbling blocks in intercultural communication?
9. What role does caste system plays in communication in Nepali society?
10. Do the foreign media content and formats influence Nepali culture; the contents received directly trough contact with foreign media and indirectly trough Nepali media implementing them?

28 May 2007

Legal Eyes on Working Journalists Act

By Harsha Man Maharjan

I believe that people who have not studied journalism from Proficiency Level have rights to study Journalism and Mass Communication in Masters Level. This is happening in two colleges in Nepal: Kantipur City College and College of Mass Communication and Journalism. It is not happening in R R College.

I think specialists need to think over Nepali journalism and mass communication. Here I am giving an example of Working Journalists Act 2051 v.s.(1995) Ramesh Badal is a lawyer having specialization in Labour issues. His interpretation of the genesis of Working Journalist Act of Nepal was new to me. I studied the act minutely many times but I could not discern the issues as he did. He was speaking in a media discussion series organized by Martin Chautari on 24 May 2007. Its topic was Issues Related to Working Journalists in Electronic Media.

He thinks it was a blunder of Nepali journalism sector to deny to entertain Labour Act in 1990s. At that time in Nepal trade unionism was only in industries, factories and hotels. Journalists went for Working Journalists Act as in India to differ themselves from muscle power using workers.

According to Badal there is a provision of entertaining Industrial Dispute Act in Indian act related to working journalists which Nepali act lacks.
Actually media owners framed Nepali Working Journalists Act. And the act came in favour of media owner.

These owners included a clause of “journalists in contract”. This provision became weapons to exploit journalists. Nepali journalism sector in infant age at that time and there was majority of journalists who even see management.
So the demand for its amendments came in later years. Some even demand to annul the act.

Government has brought a bill related to amendments in the act. It covers all journalists: print, radio, tv and online. The bill provides equal facilities even to journalists in contract.

Yet Badal is not satisfied with the amendments. He thinks all issues related to working journalists are to be addressed through labour department and labour court. This is not clear in the amendments. He still sees hesitation in journalism sector to go through labour act.

27 May 2007

Political Appointments in Media and Ill Health of Gorkhapatra Sasthan.

Harsha Man Maharjan

There is a rumor going on in the town these days about the Gorkhapatra Sasthan(G.S.): It is on the verge of collapse. A friend in my college informed me that the Sasthan lacks news print, and Workers related to CPN (Maoist) are stopping Pandit from entring the Sasthan.

Its director, Tej Prakash Pundit is on leave for few weeks. Former Communication Minister Dilendra Badu appointed Pundit in the post. Badu is related to Nepali Congress. Now Krishna Bahadur Mohara is Communication Minister. And he has no good relation with Pandit.

Now it is time to think about the political appointment in government-owned media houses. Usually these are the big posts and they get change as soon as there is a change in the government. On the one side we are saying that government should provide independence to these media institutions. On the other side we are seeing political appointments. I have not figure about way out this. Only I know is government should not interfere in these media institutions.

08 May 2007

Timid Kantipur

By Harsha Man Maharjan

On 26 April 2007 (16 Baisakh 2064 v.s ), Kantipur, a Nepali broadsheet daily did a scoop on Rayamajhi Ayog. It has byline by Bal Krishna Basnet. He got Rayamajhi Commission’s report form a source. The government has kept this report secret after members of the commission submitted the report.

On that day I praised Kantipur for the scoop. I think every Nepali has right to know what is written in the commission’s report. It is a public property. So as the government was not making it public, I think it is kantipur’s responsibility to publish the report. I hoped that kantipur will not lag behind on this matter. What I remembered on that day was Pentagon papers of America. American government kept secret Pentagon papers related to its involvement in Vietnam War Few newspapers got the papers. When they published the papers in different parts the government ordered to stop publishing the papers and the case went to court. And the court gave verdict on the favour of newspapers.

That’s why I hoped that Kantipur would publish the report next day. I was waiting the paper next day with bated breath. What the paper had was only an editorial on the report of Rayamajhi Commission.
I waited for another day. There was no commission’s report. So in the evening I called Katipur’s editor, Narayan Wagle in his mobile phone to know about the issue. No one responded me. Next I tried in Guna Raj Luintel’s mobile. He was in a program and with out knowing my concern he told me to contact him after an hour. At last I called at Kantipur publication and talked with my colleague, Lekh Nath Pandey. He informed me that Kantipur only got part two of the report and they were thinking about publishing it.

I think still today Kantipur is thinking about issue and it is showing no courage to publish this commission’s report. Isn’t it Kantipur’s duty to publish the report?

24 April 2007

History Channel telling a Winner’s Tale

By Harsha Man Maharjan

There is a saying: winners write history. Do you believe this?

I am trying to link this notion with history channel, a tv channel. It broadcasts programs related to different aspects of history. This is one of my favorite channels.

Among its program I like Biography. This program even got chance to be the top ten programs in India few years ago. Its old footage attracts me. How charmingly these programs use steel photos to tell people’s stories. I can only praise the channel for this.

Few weeks ago my belief in the channel shattered. On that day it presented a program on four world famous royal massacres. I forgot details of two of them. Remaining two was about the Tsar family of the USSR and the family of King Birendra.

I could hardly believe what the program told about the royal massacre of Nepal. It blamed then prince Dipendra for the massacre. We all know this was the official version, only few Nepali believed.

My hope at that time was to get information on general people’s disbelief about the official version of the massacre. The world must know this fact and the history channel could have done this. But it took only the official version and quelled alternative versions.

Still today history tells only winners’ tales.

How sad. Isn’t it?

23 April 2007

Nepal Army’s PR Material in Kantipur TV

By Harsha Man Maharjan

People blame Nepal Army for its weak public relations. This scenario is changing these days. People of Pili, Kalikot are thankful to the army for building a road. It seems that these people will never forget the army’s contribution. The road will make their life easy. There is no doubt.

Here my concern is on another thing. These days my exam is going on and I am immersed in it. I had hardly time for other activities. Yet I managed time to watch a talk program of Kantipur TV, Bahas during my exam.

On April 21, 2007 I was surprised to see a documentary on the bravery of the Nepal Army, I place of Bahas. I was a wee bit late and missed the beginning part. I didn’t know the reason of this. Even earlier some times other programs took Bahas’s place.
The documentary was about the army’s ability to construct road. All people were praising the army’s deed. Rukmanga Kattuwal was doing the same.

While watching the program, I thought that it might be the footage of Kantipur TV. Actually Nepal Army made this documentary. This was shown in the end of the program. It was a public relation material to upgrade the army’s image.

What was the motive of the Kantipur TV behind showing this documentary? Was it used as a filler only to fill time? Or, was it the planned program of the Nepal Army? Had KTV any axe to grind through this documentary? Questions remain.

03 April 2007



My exam is going on. I might not post for few weeks.

THe Himalayan Times' Craze for the word 'Stop Press'

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Being a student of Journalism and mass communication I know what the words stop press mean. THese days a English braodsheet daily, The Himalayan Times is using this words in its front page giving scores of games in World Cup Criket. Is this word to be put in the page? I don't think so. So I search in internet to know more aboutit. Here is what I found its meaning 'late news that is inserted into the newspaper at the last minute'. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stop+press.
By using this word THT is trying to show that it is doing the job which is out of the dateline. Yet, million dollar question is: Is it needed to write the word there ? Many readers blame THT for focussing only on factual information. It never did investigative reporting, except the breaking news of Charles Shobraj. It never dare to challenge any side. This is a typical example of 'objective journalism.' I am still think THT evade cartoon.

22 March 2007

One-sided News of Kantipur Publication

By Harsha Man Mahrajan

Once my friend told me that business community is mainly responsible for the present mismanagement in Nepal. And media are silent on this issue. Yes it is this community which supported royal regime, and all political parties depend on them as economic source. Their money is never made transparent. So my friend liked Manoj Bhandarkar’s film Page Three for showing the negative impact of advertisers in media.
On 19 March 2007 The Kathmandu Post daily published an news about hotelier Hari Shrestha being abducted and beaten by the Maoists for supporting king. On the same day Nepali day Kantipur wrote that the Maoists did this for he denied to provide donation of 20,00,000.00 Nepali rupee. The news also informed the Maoist forced him to do written commitment to provide Rs 1,00,000,00.00 and provide 10 rooms for CPN(Maoist) free of cost and not to inform about this to police. The news was placed on the first page with a photo of Shrestha with his bruised face. Both news were one-sided. Neither of them had voices of the Maoists. Today it is easy to know their voice.
Owing to this and other incidents of Maoist action, the business community declared the band for indefinite period from 19 March 2007. What a job of the Kantipur Publication, its Nepali broadsheet daily published an appeal on 20 March 2007 of business community to do bandh and participate in the rally taking place in Basantapur on the same day. Definitely this is advertisement. Is it not against the ethics of journalism?
On Samaya Sandarbha, a talk program aired by Nepal FM on 20 March, Badri Bajgai of trade union affiliated to the Maoists told that the action against Shrestha was due to wrong activities of Shrestha. Bajgai accused Shrestha of exploiting his workers, rape and murder.
I was curious to knbow about this so I called my friend at Gefont. According to him, Gefont also fought with him from Panchayat period and every time he remained scotch free due to Royal protection.
Why did Kantipur hide this issue? Isn’t its duty to inform readers about this? No doubt, the Maoists’ action is wrong. No one should take laws in her/his hand. They must abide with rule of law. They must learn about this.

16 March 2007

Need of Broadcasting Authority in Nepal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

A saying goes better late than never but better never late. We are making late in establishing a broadcasting authority. Now we are in chaos.

At last Information and Communication Ministry has decided to stop registering applications of new FM radio stations in Kathmandu. Nepal Samacharpatra informed this on 11 March 2007. This is good news.

We still lack an authentic institution to evaluate the applications. After April revolution of 2006, the ministry opened the process of providing license. And now it has provided licenses to 177 radio stations. Can you believe 37 of them are in Kathmandu? Can they survive? It seems that ministry has to do nothing with their survival. In lack of this authority Kantipur publication has got license to air 5 more FM radios in Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Bharatpur, Pokhara and Butwal.

In Nepal National Communication Policy 2049 v.s opened broadcasting sector to private sector. It did not propose the authority to manage and evaluate applications for FM radio stations. Even National Broadcasting Act 2049 v.s did not mention about this kind of authority.

Long -term Policy of Information and Communication Sector 2059 (2003) has urged government to established this authority. The Royal government after Feb 1 2005 coup tried to introduce a Broadcasting Authority Ordinance in early January 2006. Its main purpose was to stop FM radios from airing news, increasing license fee. It also had a provision of stopping three media: radio, tv, and print to an media organization. Due to the concerted effort of democratic forces the government needed to step back.

Even High Level Media Recommendation Commission 2006 recommended government to establish National Broadcasting Authority. Its duty, responsibility and rights are as follows:

• Issue operating license to broadcasting organization.
• Classify broadcast mediums and organizations.
• Evaluate the standard of materials used for broadcasting.
• Formulate frequency spectrum plan; implement the plan and monitor the implementation.
• Monitor the activities of broadcast companies.
• Formulate broadcast policy.
• Conduct other necessary works required for development and improvement of broadcast companies.
• The authority should hold the right to collect fees for its operation.


06 March 2007

Media Literacy Initiatives in Nepal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Is there the campaign of Media Literacy in Nepal? Do you heard about this in Nepal? Media literacy tells citizens about the socio-political and economic aspects of media products. It makes citizens aware of media construction of reality and makes them aware of both good and bad aspects of mass media.

Nepali government never paid interest in this kind of campaign. Academic education of Journalism and Mass Media began in 2033 v.s. In the late years of 1980s king Mahendra was experimenting with his so-called one party democracy. No need to doubt that that time the government kept citizens from real facts by bombarding them by government propaganda. Mainstream media were in the control of the government. There was no chance of beginning media literacy in Nepal at that time. Non Government organizations were not powerful at that time. Government sector has not started this campaign even today.

There is only an example from Ngo side. Asmita publication organized media literacy training in 2005 among about 800 women of Morang and Rupendehi districts. It even published a booklet, Upayogi Media: Sakriya Upobhokta(Useful Media: Active Consumer). Asmita named it series no. 1. But 2 never came. The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) funded this project.

Manju Thapa of Asmita thinks Media Literacy is the field that we have to emphasize in Nepal now. But no NGO seems in the front. Asmita even lack funding on this issue. Media experts Vinaya Kasajoo and P. Kharel see the need of the campaign of Media Literacy in Nepal.

In Nepal’s context Media Literacy is important. People have blind faith in Mainstream media these days. This media gave full support to April revolution of 2006. No doubt the King gave these media no other option then to fight back against king’s tyranny. But these media are for profit. They never dare to fight against the interest of media owners and advertisers.

It is right time to inform Nepali citizen about the real nature of media. Media products are always constructs. These products use heads of people with different interests. Even limitations of their technology, economy make these products biased. They prioritize certain belief, ideology etc. Citizens must know how mass media construct reality, what influences media owners and advertisers have in media, why these products are made, the nature of Media: whether they are mainstream or alternative, commercial, community etc. These sorts of media information help citizen to evaluate media products.

The issue of ownership is important. Even government has media in its control. The state media always favor government and criticize its opponents. Citizen must know the limitations of the state media. Private media too have limitations. Now a problem of ownership concentration is evolving. Kantipur Publication owns radio, tv, online. This is also related to cross media ownership. With out studying the need assessment and consequences, recently government has given license to Kantipur to start five FM radio station of 1 kw each in Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Bharatpur, Pokhara and Butawal. Accumulating this much power in a media organizations is bad for democracy. As Ben Bagdikian says in his book, The New Media Monopoly, media power is political power.

One can question: Kantipur Publication, Kantipur FM, Kantipur Television Network, kantipur Online are separate media organizations. They might appear so. But in reality they are under one organization. Please visit its website Kantipuronline. They are kept under one organization. http://www.kantipuronline.com/aboutus.php
Nepali citizens must know this fact. Media literacy informs them about the chances of assaults from mass media. Actually this makes Nepali citizen active and helps in democratization of Nepali polity.

Lack of Government organizations and NGOs’ interest in Media literacy movement shows that they want to leave Nepali people vulnerable to assaults of media. These organizations knowingly and unknowingly are conniving with these media. They don’t want to empower Nepali citizens.

In global level media literacy began in 1960s. In some countries it begins from kindergarten to 12 class. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_literacy

Now we have no other way. Government Organizations and Ngos must begin the campaign of Media Literacy as training or media education.

04 March 2007

Last Chance: Restructuring of State Media in Nepal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

On 2 March 2007 Ministry of Information and Communication arranged a meeting with media experts on the future structure of state media in Nepal. www.gorkhapatra.org.np/content.php?nid=13742

Government has formed a High-level Taskforce on Restructuring and Autonomy of Government Media on December 2006. The team includes Badri Bahadur Karki (Coordinator), Kunda Dixit, Dhurba Hari Adhikari, Nirmala Sharma, Tej Prakash Pundit, Ram Sharan Karki, Madan Kumar Sharma, Jaya Sankar Mahato etc. It has a mandate to make a report o the issue in two months. There is no doubt that government is going to extend its time. It is also calling politicians about the issue. Actually these people are important. Only their will works. Acts of Gorkhapatra Prakashan, Rastriya Samachar Samiti have compelled government to make their share available to their workers and general people. As I wrote in my previous posting governments have never shown their courage to do so. Even media policies of Nepal have urged government to make these organizations autonomous.

I hope this time these state media will be autonomous in real sense. Actually this is the first working team that was formed especially to provide legal suggestions to give autonomy to these organizations and restructure them.

Now these politicians have no option other than doing what this team suggests.

27 February 2007

Media Politics in Nepal: Media Issues Media Hate and Love

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Here media politics has nothing to do with political parties. What I say media politics is the politics of main media organizations in Nepal. My focus is to know which media issues they give emphasis and which they neglect.

I am sharing my experience of going through news cutting we have in Martin Chautari Media Documentation Centre (http://www.martinchautri.org.np/)
We have news cutting on different media issues.
I tried to figure out the volume of articles and news according to subjects: State Media, Working Journalists., Foreign Direct Investment in Media and Media Monopoly.

Cuttings on the welfare of working journalists were the lest among the four. This is the subject on which journalists related organizations conducted seminars in five star hotels. How journalists could voice their grievances in their own media. They even can not publish their grievances and problem in others’ newspapers.

We know that media sector flourished in Nepal after 1990. But the condition of working journalist changed very little. We know only few organizations treated their journalists according to the Working Journalists Act 2051 v.s. Today journalists are voicing to amend this act. They think that this act has a loophole that provides media owners to use journalists in contract. Few weeklies, state owned newsapapers published news, articles on the issue. I think this is the most neglected issue among the four. It is because journalists have no platform in newspapers to write about this issue.

Then came Media monopoly. Here media monopoly means the monopoly of the Kantipur Publication. Even state owns all media. No government should own media.
Monopoly of the Kantipur Publication is not clear if go through its owners. Kantipur FM, Kantipur TV, ekantipur and Kantipur publication are different entities. Yet even lay people know that they born out of the Kantipur Publication. This is a threat to democracy. Past action of Kantipur publication and its sister media organizations showed this in past. It urged government to declare the state of emergency in 2001 to tackle the Maoist Insergency. It backed a fraction of Nepali congress onces. It used all its effort to provoke the audience to take against THT and waged a war to fulfill its vested interest.
Other dailies: Nepal Samacharpatra, Rajdhani, Gorkhaptra etc allied with the Kantipur Publication in the issue of foreign direct investment. They opposed it in the issue of media monopoly. Actually it is this issue that faltered 2001 campaign of Nepal Media Society against The Himalayan Times (THT) on Times’ alleged foreign direct investment. These dailies wrote editorials, made news against Kantipur’s monopoly. They urged government to make laws against media monopoly.

State media came after media monopoly. In this issue even state owned newspapers Gorkhaptra and The Rising Nepal have published news, article. All media organizations urged government to left its control. It is funny that even almost all Ministers of Communication spoke on different occasions that these state media were free to perform their job. But this is yet to happen. The High Level Media Recommendation Commission formed in 2006 under the chairpersonship of Radheshyam Adhkari has requested to privatize Gorkhaptra Corporation and change Radio Nepal and Nepal Television to Public Service Braodcasting. It remained mum on Rastriya Samachar Samiti,(National News Agency) a news agency. People related the GP and RSS criticize the commission. So government formed another Higher Working Team to Study the Restructuring and Autonomy of State Media on December 2006. The team includes Badri Bahadur Karki, Kunda Dixit, Dhurba Hari Adhikari, Nirmala Sharma, Tej Prakash Pundit, Ram Sharan Karki, Madan Kumar Sharma, Jaya Sankar Mahato etc. It has a mandate to make a report o the issue in two months.

The huge chunk of news cutting was on foreign direct investment. This issue hugged newspapers even before The Himalayan Times got published. Only on the rumor of its publishing, big newspapers published editorials, news and article. Except The Himalayan Times, other broadsheets gave the most emphasis on the issue. These newspapers even formed an organization named Nepal Media Society in 2001. These newspapers carried editorials, news and articles on the activities of the Nepal Media Society against the The Himalayan Times. This society even provoked the readers to take against THT. Due to this, copies of THT were burned in different places.
Nepal Media Society (NMS) waged a war on the pretext of THT’s old news that said Buddha was born in India quoting an Indian scholar. But in reality activities of Nepal Media Society came after THT decided to cut its price. A price war between The Kathmandu Post, a English daily of Kantipur Publication and THT when THT came to existence. Profit guided NMS’s activities though they tried to show something else.
Readers must know this. For this government or non government organizations need to give media literacy training to readers. Readers has to know how journalists make news, what advertisement and public relation can do to journalism and other issues of mass media. It is time to begin the campaign of media literacy.

22 February 2007

Fagun 7 (Democracy Day ): A Royal Propaganda and Myth in Nepal

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Zade said this in her blog on Feb 19 2007:

Happy PraJaTanTra DiWas!!
Nothing really. Its just a great day, the sun’s shining ah but again everyone’s after the King’s “Baktabya”. But well, let me not talk of things I have no expertise on..So Happy Prajatantra Diwas Everyone! And For bloggers, I wish this Freedom of Expression Last for ever and ever!! And my day began with this day..So enjoy!! http://zade.wordpress.com/

I don't know how to answer her. I want to write more about Falgun 7. So here is my experience and idea about Falgun 7.

I have celebrated many Falgun 7 as Democracy days.

Nepal celebrated 57th Democracy day on 19 February 2007.

During my school days I used to praise King Tribhuwan for fleeing Delhi, sacrificing his happiness and supporting the Anti-Rana movement. I saw nothing wrong to declare him the father of Democray or Rastrapita or Father of the country. blah.blah.

I got this impression from text books on history I read in my school. My holidays on these occasions thickened my belief. Broadsheet dailies Gorkhapatra and The Rising Nepal publish special issues on the day. They did same this year also.

This praise for Tribhuwan no more remains in me. In fact from few I doubt this notion from few years. It is due to my colleagues at Martin Chautari, a platform of discussions.

Today I take Falgun 7 as a propaganda this country is disseminating from 2007 v.s (1951). It is a myth that I deny to buy. I could only free sorry to PM and ministers to fall in this royal trap. They could not damned this day.

That's why they are still giving holiday on this day. We need to learn real incident.
On Fagun 6, I found a book, Sri Panch Mahendra ra Samakalin Nepal (King Mahendra and Contemporary Nepal) while visiting second hand books on pavements near RNAC building. This book eulogizes late King Mahendra who cashed the cold war situation and pleaded the notion of ‘Bikas’or development in the country which was languishing in darkness. He ruled Nepal for thirty years absolutely. He became a shrewd dictator.

The book’s information:
Writer: Tirtha Raj Tuladhar
Published date: Jestha 29, 2021 v.s
Publisher: Department of publicity, Ministry of

Here writer’s name is unimportant. During Panchayat period the king would not let people know reality. Books like Leo Rose and Bhuwan Lal Joshi’s Democratic Innovation in Nepal etc were banned for presenting real political history of Nepal after 1951.

The books tells also about Fagun 7 and its importance in Nepal. According the book, on Fagun 7 2007 (18 February 1951) late king Tribhuwan made a historical proclamation after he returned Nepal on 4 Fagun 2007 (15 February 1951) from India. That’s why even king Gyanendra could not resist him from giving a statement on this day though it is unconstitutional.
And literally he has dug his own grave.

The book only informs that on that day he declared a Rana-Congress coalition cabinet. But it does not give more information on Tribuwan’s royal proclamation.

I found this proclamation in Grishma Bahadur Devkota’s book, Nepal ko Rajnaitik Darpan.
O. I could not believe what I found in the book. I really did not believe what I found in the book.
On that day, could you believe! Tribhuwan declared that he desired a republic political set up in Nepal formed by election. And he formed the cabinet so that there could be the election.

He never let that election happened till he died on 30 Falgun 2011 v.s (14 March 1955). He cashed internal feud in Nepali congress and made Matrika Prasad Koirala Prime Minister in next cabinet. Tribhuwan also formed other cabinets only in his convenience.

It is Tribhuwan who took direct control of army and assumed the title of Supreme Commander of Chief on the pretext on Vir Gorkha Dal. This dal, backed by Ranas tried to subvert army and overthrow the government. For more detail I request readers to study the book Democratic Innovation in Nepal: A Case Study of Political Acculturation. What u will find is definitely not good face of King Tribhuwan and King Mahendra.

Let the myth evaporate.

WE no more need to celebrate FALGUN 7.

No way. No compromise on the freedom of expression.