06 January 2008

A Day of Silence for Foud

05 January 2008


By Harsha Man Maharjan

There is no heaven for journalists, activists, dissidents. Democracy demand toleration of criticism. Criticism paves ways for improvement.

What about authoritarian countries like Saudi Arab. Saudi government has been detaining a blogger Fouad Alfarhan on 10 December 2007. His crime was to post information about Saudi academics who were detained with charges of funding ‘terrorism’. According to report Saudi government is interrogating him for “doing campaign for these detained academic”. Saudi bloggers and bloggers from world are condemning Saudi government.

It is right time we think about Nepali bloggers’ welfare too. Any time any group can threat Nepali bloggers for their posting. I might be unaware to threats some Nepali bloggers had faced. Those who blog disclosing identity are vulnerable to these kinds of threats. WE NEED TO UNIT FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

03 January 2008

Kantipur FM Being Radio of Nation: Where is local Content?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Kantipur FM has become Radio Kantipur. This is how Kantipur FM is propagating itself. It is celebrating ninth anniversary on 4th January 2008. It is Radio Rastrya Ko (Radio of Nation).

It has become bigger, broader and blah blah. Yes its audience has multiplied enormously. It is operating through seven relay stations.

Now it has covered about 60-65 district. It got seven license to air radio stations in Kathmandu (96.1 mhz), Sunsari (96.1 mhz), Birgunj (96.1 mhz), Nepalgunj (101.8 mhz), Bharatpur (96.1 mhz), Pokhara (101.8 mhz) and Butwal (96.1 mhz). Six of them are of 1kw and but one relay station at Sunsari is of 10 kw.

Now a question arises. How can Kantipur FM air its national content through relay stations ? How can it become national when it is a FM radio ? Isn’t main principle of FM radio local ? How is it different from Kantipur FM ?

I put some of these questions to Prabhat Rimal, station manager of Kantipur FM. He accepts that they got licenses for operating radio stations. He finds it unfeasible to open radio stations at these places at this moment. He told me that Kantipur FM is airing few programs for few hours as local content in few languages in some places.

It is airing radio programs on Maithali and Newari on Tuesday and Wednesday for 30 minutes each for Kathmandu and Janakpur. Is this enough? I doubt. Kantipur FM lacks local content.
Rimal thinks that there should be co-ordination among different FM stations regarding of content in local languages.