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.