BY Harsha Man Maharjan
1 February 2005 brought crisis in Nepali media. For new media especially blogs and websites it was an opportunity. It is in fact an irony. They flourished when the king smother Nepali media and declare the state of emergency in the country. He ordered Nepali media not to do anything against the letter and sprit of his proclamation.
Military personals performed actions of editors in newspapers, radio etc. In this adverse and undemocratic condition big media houses: Kantipur Publication, Nepal Samacharpatra, Rajdhani, The Himalayan Times etc kowtowed before Military orders. They opted to appease the king than the public.
Only few magazines and weeklies opposed the king’s order in different ways. The media that fully rebelled at that time were few websites:
Not only people in abroad but also people having online access in Nepal knew about the country from these media.
Khoj Patrakarita Kendra (Centre for Investigative Journalism) has published a book, Sankatkalma Samachar(News during Emergency ). It is a content analysis of main print media in Nepal for three months of the state of emergency. It also includes the scenario of FM radios. But it has left online media.
During the book launch on Feb 18 at Yala Maya Kendra, I raised this question. Binod Bhattarai who planned and edited the book told me that it is a small project supported by Danida. First he planned to include only print media. Students of R.R. Campus Rishikesh Dahal and Ranju K.C. did this research. Idea of incorporating radio journalism came as an afterthought. Bhattari thinks role of online media could be another project. However he did not forget to comment that only few Nepali people have access to this media. So it is our duty to write history of online media in Nepal.