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.

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