United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Voices from the Field Press Freedom in the CPA to the Constituent Assembly
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Nepali media could never realize the state of complete press freedom due to the prolonged fluid and unstable political situation in the country. The media sector has been facing the brunt of the problem in the course of fulfilling its sacred duty of informing people. The incidents of beatings, threats, kidnappings, murder, tortures, looting, and obstructions against journalists continue to take place even after the restoration of democracy. A large number of journalists were physically harmed, while over one and a half dozen journalists were killed for collecting and disseminating news about the demonstrations organized by political parties, professionals, and civil society during the decade-long conflict. The number of journalists receiving mental threats and physical assaults is equally high. The main reason behind the attacks against journalists is seen to be motivated by the desire to prevent their crimes reaching the public or to bully journalists into disseminate news in their favor. But both of these issues are beyond the basic ethics of journalists. A professional journalist should not be involved in yellow journalism against his professional values even in the face of difficult situations. Nepali journalism in general is not beyond these professional ethics and journalistic values. On the other hand, the government has failed to take any initiatives to bring marginalized journalists into mainstream media by enhancing their skills. Though there is a constitutional provision to represent 33 percent women in all state structures, this has not been followed even in the state- formed commissions. The number is working women journalists is around 200 across the country. However, their space in the key position, including as editor and in the top management in big media houses, is quite minimal. It seems necessary for all media houses to adopt special programs for the uplift of women journalists. They should give priority to women journalists and provide them with job opportunities accordingly. Likewise, media houses should also carry out awareness programs to minimize mental torture against women journalists and punish the guilty involved in such acts. There is a growing attraction towards journalism from Dalits and marginalized communities. However it seems that the journalists from these communities still need to struggle a lot to get themselves established in mainstream media. According to statistics of various media houses, altogether 89 journalists are currently 39 Voices from the Field Press Freedom in Nepal from the CPA to the Constituent Assembly involved in active journalism. Nevertheless, the number of Dalit journalists working at a higher level or at the level editor is quite minimal. Thus, it is necessary on the part of the government to promote positive action and help enhance the capacity of journalists belonging to Dalits and marginalized communities. It is equally necessary to make provisions for stern action against those guilty of discriminating against Dalit journalists in media houses just because they belong to the Dalit community.We recommend that the new constitution to be drafted by the CPA include rights to information and other fundamental rights as unamendable provisions in its preamble. We also recommend that the new constitution set clear legal provisions to ensure the guarantee of complete press freedom and stern action against those involved in violating press freedom.

#ConstituentAssembly #CPA #FieldPressFreedom

Publisher:
UNESCO ,   (2008 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Keywords:
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, RIGHT TO COMMUNICATE, PRESS LAW, LIBEL AND SLANDER, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION, CENSORSHIP, WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY, EQUALITY, LIBERALISM, IMPUNITY, DALIT JOURNALISTS, WOMEN JOURNALISTS, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION, RIGHT TO PEACE, CONFLICTS, HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, HUMAN SECURITY, ACADEMIC FREEDOM, ACCESS TO INFORMATION, FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY, NATURAL LAW
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Thesaurus:
14.02.02  -  Human Rights
Reference Link:
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