17 December 2011

Price Hiking Consensus among Three Nepali Dailies: Its Effect in Nepali Media

By Harsha Man Maharjan

The very newspapers which always criticized the government for back-breaking price-hike in fuel and other goods increased its price cent percentage. On 13 December 2011, three Nepali dailies Kantipur, Annapurna Post and Nagarik declared through the publisher’s note that they had increased their price from Rs. 5 to Rs. 10. It was unprecedented in the history of news media in Nepal.

In 2003, some of them were fighting to reduce their price. At that time there was a price war between The Himalayan Times (related to Annapurna Post) and The Kathmandu Post (related to Kantipur). When The Himalayan Times (THT) started to sell in Rs. 2, The Kathmandu Post made its price Rs. 1.50.

All three newspapers argued that they had no other option than to increase the price because there was price-hike in newsprint and prices of everything in increasing in Nepal. Annapurna Post even claimed that newspapers in Nepal were the cheapest in South Asia. All of three newspapers had assured that they would try to improve their content.

I think we have to see this hike as these media’s strategy to cope with increasing onslaught of online media. Day by day the users of internet are increasing, and online are available on mobile phone. Many content of these newspapers are available online, so these newspapers want to reduce the circulation of newspapers. But many readers were surprised to see the huge increase in price. I know friend who have stopped buying these newspapers due to this hike. They think the price as cartelling of some big media houses in print media.

But it is interesting to see other dailies like Gorkhapatra, Samacharpatra, Rajdhani, Nayapatrika, etc have not increased their prices. Why is so ? An online newsportal: onlinekhabar.com has claimed that the exercise for the hike was going on from one month, and these three newspapers could not convinced other publishers. A friend from Kantipur publication informed me that they heard about this hike 45 days before.

Will the others also follow these three newspapers’ path? Only future will show.

About price war:


06 October 2011

Reds: Nice cinema on First World War and Its Aftermath

By Harsha Man Maharjan

I am interested in the cold War period. That's why i watched this movie. More than this, it presents pictures of US and USSR, the main actors of the Cold War. People believe this as the story of a writer and journalist,John Reeds. I had same misconception before i watched it. What i think is this movie is actually a saga on the rise of left movement in the US and feminism, which broached the idea of free sex and independent thinking. Please watch this movie, if you are more interested in Emma Goldman's life. It is a nice movie to know about the first world war and its aftermath. I disagree with some reviews who blame for its length-it is 196 minutes.I believe that only due to this length, it could portray lives of its actors in detail.

01 October 2011

Film Critic: Journalist and Audience

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Who is a film critic? Better to put this questions as: who can be a film critic ?

This issue evolved with a review of Nepali film, Break Fail by Manoj Pandit, film director and critic. On 25 September 2011, Nepali daily Nagarik reported that police summoned Manoj on a complaint from actress Richa Ghimire. According to the reporting, Richa blame Manoj of character assassination through a review of her film, Break Fail and affecting international market of the film. In that review he has opined that she was not worth being an actress in the film, which she took as a personal matter. I don’t think so. Going through the review I have come to a conclusion that Richa was wrong. Being a film critic, Manoj had rights to comment on Ghimire's acting.

If what Nagarik wrote was correct, Richa had some misconceptions. She said reviews have to promote Nepali cinema industry without criticizing it. More than she opined that only journalists with cards from FNJ should have rights to write film reviews.

What I think is any film viewer has rights to be a film reviewer. Journalists have no monopoly on this business. Nepali film industry must show courage to hear criticism.


Manoj’s review:


about the news:


21 July 2011

IAMHIST or International Association of Media History and Me

By Harsha Man Maharjan
This is the association I came to know through internet, and now this is the organization, of which I have become a member. Hats off to the technology for bridging time and space it made people easily reachable as if people from different countries are only neighbors next to my home.
IAMHIST provided me an opportunity to present a paper on Nepali cinema in its 24th conference under the theme, ‘Media History and Cultural Memory’ that took place in Copenhagen. For this it also supported me financially and morally, without which this participation was impossible for me.

Reaching Denmark was difficult and tiring, but having a chance to participate in the program and meet likeminded people compelled me to forget about those difficult moments. And now what I remember is only moments of discussion, contemplation and imagination during the conference. The boring and nerve-raking 17 hours waiting I had to experience at Indira Gandi Airport was nothing to what I have learned from the conference.

It gave me a realization that there is a bunch of people who are interested in media history and who are thinking about it, just like me. And just like me, they are endeavoring to come up with some interesting arguments out of achieves never accessed by others or by rereading the same old achieves. It also reassured me that some of topics related to cinema, propaganda, television, etc which I was thinking to study in future, were worth undertaking, as others are doing them in the context of other countries. With information of these ongoing studies, I even got idea about the people whom I should consult for comments and feedback while studying those topics.
Thanks IAMHIST. Please see some of pixs related to the program.

27 May 2011

CODE OF ETHICS FOR BLOGGERS (Proposed on May 27, 2011)

Friends, here is the code of ethics proposed by Ujjwal Acharya(The Radiant Star ). You are free to give suggestions

A blogger should honestly:
Be honest and fair on what you write in your blog
Write things that you believe to be truth
Specify your source of information – credit to offline sources and link to online sources
Specify clearly the use of any unconfirmed fact or information
Avoid conflict of interest – clearly disclose your position including job, financial interest, affiliation and relationship if they related to the post OR maintain an detailed About Me page
Clearly differentiate between advertisements and blog content
Disclose clearly if an entry is posted sponsored or as advertisement or after accepting a payment or goods to write it
Admit and correct mistakes as soon as possible but only with strikethrough or editorial note
Allow comments to engage audience, allow different opinions and clearly state your moderation policy if any
Show compassion for human being – be sensitive writing about or using photos of victims
Promote freedom of speech

A blogger shouldn’t intentionally:
Completely rewrite or delete an entry
Threaten people and institution using the blog
Write anything undermining nationality, national security, religious harmony and social order
Give space to pornography, hate speech and crude content
Publish personal and confidential information of people
Spam, spread malware and viruses and engage in illegal activities
Plagiarize – copy and paste from other sources
Disclose the source of primary information without source’s consent
Bloggers, please provide your suggestions, criticisms and comments.
All your comments, suggestions and criticisms will be taken up in subsequent updates of the Code of Ethics before it is finalized and bloggers are invited to be signatory.

20 May 2011

Janabadi cinema or Maoist Cinema or Revolutionary Cinema: What is its Nepali Avatar ?

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Janabadi Cinema. Marxist Cinema.Maoist Cinema.
What is Janabadi Cinema ? How is it different from other cinemas? Is it Marxist Cinema ? Is it Maoist Cinema ?

Answers to these questions are difficult to get. Some people believe there is nothing like Janabadi cinema. What they accept is there are two types of cinema– good and bad cinema. That’s all.

But to know about Janabadi cinema, you have to see some of these cinemas. Video Cassette shop owners can assist you. What you need to do is go and ask one of such owners about the cinema and he/she will provide more than ten cinemas which the owner thinks are Janabadi cinema. In this situation some of which you get might not be Janabadi cinema. Usually what you get are Lal Salam, Jannayudha, etc.

So, best way to know about Janabadi cinema is to ask the advocates of these cinemas. I know there are two such people Ramesh Bhattarai and Ishwor Chandra Gywali. Bhattarai and Gywali have written few articles on the issue.

Here I am relating what Gywali said about the cinema during an interaction program organized by Martin Chautari, Kathmandu, Nepal on 19 May 2011.

He thinks that Janabadi cinema depicts reality and it tries to create ambient of reality. With this description, he tried to differentiate between a melodrama and a Janabadi cinema. “Melodrama presents fantastic worlds”, he added. According to Gywali, What differentiates a Janabadi cinema from other cinema is that it provides a way of liberation to poor and downtrodden people. It is interesting that during the program he informed that there is no cinema in Nepal which he can pinpoint as Janabadi cinema. He opined that even Lal Salam and Junayuddha have weaknesses.

Do you believe that cinema can be Janabadi? Can this be the medium of liberation? I have questions only. Is there any Nepali avatar of Janabadi cinema ? What is Janabadi cinema ? What is Marxist cinema ? What is Maoist cinema ?

Can you answer me? Is anybody hearing?

Photo source:

05 May 2011

Gigapedia or Library.nu for Democratization of Knowledge

The story began on January 2011. Dateline: Zurich, Switzerland. I went there to participate at Winter School Program of ETH on Postgraduate Winter School: Historical Development Experiences in Comparative Perspective (January 23-28, 2011). This program helped me to know more critically about development issues especially foreign aid. Pls see pixs from that program.

More than this, I came to know about Gigapedia–a website where we can download books. One of friends I met there, informed me about this. According to him, he and his colleagues at the university downloaded books from this website. Now this website has been changed in to www.library.nu. Please visit this library to download books‒new and old.

What i hope is this website helps in democratizing knowledge. Don't you think so ?

23 April 2011

VCDs of Nepali Cinema: Where are Cinemas Made by Government?

These are Nepali cinemas available at market. In them, we don't see early cinema made by government-Aama, Hijo Aaj Bholi and Pariwartan. Neither do we see cinemas made by Royal Nepal Film Corporation. These early cinemas are important sources to do study of Nepal's history but they are difficult to find. To my knowledge, they are available at Film Development Board in cans and we need special machine to watch them. Yes, we can get them at Nepal Television library. We can see them for study purpose. I don't know when these cinemas will be available at market.