Tag Archives: nepali press freedom

Maoist, the Party of Prime Minister, Attacks Himalmedia, the Newspaper House

Update: The CPN-UML boycotted a scheduled meeting of the political coordination committee, which was supposed to be attended by Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal, as a mark of protest against the Maoist attack on Himalmedia Pvt Ltd on Sunday. The UML also issued a statement condemning the Maoists for “brutal attack” on Himalmedia. Former CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal visited the Himalmedia office and expressed solidarity with the media. “This is condemnable attack and is aimed at intimidating the free press,” Nepal said after the visit. (source)

Himalmedia attacked
Himal Magazine journalist Damabar Krishna Shrestha, who was injured, talks about the attack.

Activists of the ruling party CPN-Maoist today attacked one dozen employees, including scribes, of the Himalmedia Pvt Ltd, the publisher of Nepali Times, Himal Magazine, Wave Magazine. The Maoist cadres vandalised the Himalmedia office at Hattiban in Lalitpur and attacked the staffers including Publisher and Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ashutosh Tiwari, Executive Editor Kiran Nepal and senior correspondent Dambar Krishna Shrestha among others. Continue reading Maoist, the Party of Prime Minister, Attacks Himalmedia, the Newspaper House

Yes, Comrades Did It. Maoists Say They Killed Birendra Sah

The Maoist communists today admitted that they killing journalist Birendra Sah after abducting him.

The CPN Maoist today admitted that their cadres killed Bara-district journalist Birendra Sah. Unveiling the report of the high-level committee it had formed to probe into the case, the Maoists have also expressed commitment to give all possible support to the state to initiate legal action against the assailants. The report states that Sah was murdered by Maoist cadres Kundan Phaujdhar and Ram Iqbal Sahani under the orders of their area in-charge Lal Babu Chaudhary. Sah was shot in his temple and chest in an open area inside a jungle in between Juguwa village of Sapahi VDC and Sukhuwa village of Kakari VDC in Bara district. Sah’s body was buried in a ditch near the incident site, according to the report based on the statement recorded by Chaudhary. Sah was abducted from Pipara Bazaar of Bara district on October 4. Continue reading Yes, Comrades Did It. Maoists Say They Killed Birendra Sah

Nepal Press Freedom Update: Papers Back on Stands, Maoists Back Off, Editors Unite

Update: In a separate agitation program today, police detained over 35 journalists from the southern gate of Singha Durbar, the central administrative block as some scribes were protesting against the recent Maoist attack on the press. Demanding reinstatement of 49 scribes who were sacked from state-owned Gorakhapatra, press freedom, among other, the journalists were staging a sit-in at the south gate of Singha Durbar today. (more)

In a pleasant development in the struggle for press freedom, Nepali media emerged victorious yesterday after the Maoists backed off from their strikes in media houses. Meanwhile, prominent editors of the country have come under a common umbrella called Editors’ Alliance. Here’s the summary of the development:

Court Issues Stay Order: The Patan Appellate Court on Wednesday (15 Aug) issued a stay order requiring a Maoist-aligned trade union not to obstruct the printing and distribution of The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post dailies. The court noted that the obstruction has infringed people’s constitutional and legal right to information.

Mahara Urges Dialogue: Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara has urged the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) and other media organizations to resolve the present crisis seen at media houses through dialogues. “We have a special request to the FNJ and other organizations to take positive initiative to resolve the dispute between working journalists and the managements of media organizations,” Mahara said in a statement. “The government is seriously concerned due to the uncomfortable situation at Gorkhapatra Corporation, HBC FM , Annapurna Post, The Himalayan Times and other institutions in recent days,” Mahara said. (source)

Shalikram Jamarkattle, Chief of the Maoist trade union, has said that his organization wouldn’t obstruct the publications of newspapers from 15 August. He issued a statement on 15 August saying that while launching agitation for the rights of workers, his trade union wouldn’t close down offices and disrupt printing and circulation of the newspapers. He also said that other forms of agitation would be opted. He also requested his union’s branch in the Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post not to obstruct the publication of the dailies, Annapurna Post reported in its 16 August edition. Continue reading Nepal Press Freedom Update: Papers Back on Stands, Maoists Back Off, Editors Unite

A Notice That Wasn't Printed in the Himalayan Times….

…because of the Maoist disruption in the production of the newspaper. UWB reproduces the full text of a notice issued by the Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post (published in today’s edition of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post):

YCL Threat to Kantipur Journalist: Hari Bahadur Thapa, Chief Reporter at Kantipur, nation’s largest and most influential newspaper, said that he received threat on phone today morning “from a person who didn’t identify himself but warned me not to publish anything negative about YCL” (Young Communist League), the youth wing of CPN Maoist that is involved in intimidation through Nepal in recent months. “You have been maligning YCL,” the person told Thapa. “Completely stop this act.”

“Please come to our office and tell which news report you find objectionable,” Thapa told the person.

“Yes, we will come to the office but in a different form,” said the person and slammed down the phone.

Thapa called back at the number but found out that the phone belonged to a shop in the city and the shopkeeper said he couldn’t identify the person.

This threat comes at a time when senior Maoist leaders are expressing against the professionally run independent newspapers in the country that they say are trying to spread rumor or malign the Maoist party and not writing for the poor.

YCL tries to abduct reporter: Meanwhile, Drishti, a pro-leftist vernacular weekly, has issued a press statement a while ago saying that a group of about 18 YCL members reached the weekly’s office at 1 PM today and tried to abduct its reporter Madhav Basnet. The group first surrounded the office as they tried to take away journalist Basent. “This kind of act that has been coming against the journalists and media houses recently from the Maoist is a mocks our press freedom,” said the statement.

Notice Issued In Public Interest

This is to update all our valued readers, advertisers and society at large on the recent developments with regard to the disruption in the production and distribution of the newspapers, The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.

The latest Chronology of events is as follows:

9th August 2007 (Thursday): A petition was filed by APCA Nepal against the office bearers of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Communication and Printing Publication Workers’ Union (ANCPPWU) which had threatened to disrupt the distribution of the two newspapers from Saturday. APCA sought a stay order against the defendants as their activities violated rights guaranteed under Caluse 6 (6) and 9 of the Citizens Rights act 2012 BS.

10th August 2007 (Friday): A single bench of Justice Buddhi Prasad Regmi summoned the defendants to appear in court on 13th August (Monday) when the bench was to conduct a hearing and decide on whether or not to issue a stay order. The defendants refused to accept the Patan Appellate Court’s summons. Continue reading A Notice That Wasn't Printed in the Himalayan Times….

Jobless Journos of Gorkhapatra

The Maoist minister is trying to turn the state-owned publishing house a Maoist recruitment center

The other day, Gorkhapatra Corporation, the government owned publisher of dailies Gorkhapatra and the Rising Nepal, refused to renew the contract of 49 journalists, rendering them instantly jobless. Of the 49 working journalists, many were appointed during King Gyanendra’s direct rule as justified by the corporation for the refusal to renew the contract. But the question is: How many of them were pro-king journalists? Minister of Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara should be able to answer this though he has maintained a tight lip. The Maoists have formed labor unions and have talked about the rights of laborers in public gatherings. On this count, Mahara has turned his back conspicuously. Gorkhapatra Corporation has been a recruitment center of successive information and communication ministers. Mahara, being a Maoist, cannot be an exception. He apparently wants to fill the corporation with pro-Maoist journalists. Continue reading Jobless Journos of Gorkhapatra

Maoist Madness in The Himalayan Times

UWB is strongly against protest programs in newspapers and media house that aim at stopping the newspapers from reaching to the public.

The Himalayan Times Protest

To stop a newspaper from being circulated, like in the photo, is a crime against free society. Workers stop the circulation of the Himalayan Times. Pic via THT

The protesters in APCA House, the publishers of English daily The Himalayan Times and Nepali daily Annapurna Post have disrupted the distribution of papers as they are demanding facilities and benefits from management. The Maoist as a party is clearly behind this disruption and the national leadership must be held responsible for this mayhem in media sector. Maoists are trying to intimidate media by staging such drama in the name of facilities and benefits for workers. Yes, anyone including the Maoists can have peaceful protest for whatever the reason but while doing so no one can undermine people’s right to information. We respect and defend the agitators’ right to protest and demand facilities but we condemn their act of preventing the papers from being circulated. To stop papers from reaching to subscriber’s home or to try to stop a newspaper from being published is a crime against democracy and free society.

Information Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara of the Maoist party is encouraging such act by not acting against it and that only shows what his party might do in future. We know Maoists are not satisfied with the professional/commercial media houses in Nepal whose media outlets enjoy good circulation and ratings. Intimidation is not the way to counter those media and no newspaper in good conscience can become a Janadesh (a Maoist mouthpiece). Open your own newspaper, if you can, and join the competition. Provide quality content and readers/audiences will be yours. After all, the present media houses are not distributing their papers for free. People buy and when they do that they do that by their choice. Professional Commercial media needs to be flourished in Nepal for the shake of institutionalizing democracy in the country. Continue reading Maoist Madness in The Himalayan Times

Journalists’ Solidarity for Press Freedom

Nepali journalists on solidarity show in Kathmandu

More than 200 hundreds of journalists gathered at Maitighar, Kathmandu today showing solidarity for press freedom. Members of International Mission to study Nepal’s media situation too participated in the show.

Stop control over the press, restore press freedom: the banners reads. Continue reading Journalists’ Solidarity for Press Freedom

Rajdhani Daily Covers UWB

Nepali newspaper features United We Blog!

In yet another report about blogs in Nepali media, UWB features in today’s issue of Rajdhani, a national daily published from Kathmandu. The article, written by KP Dhungana, a blogger himself, tries to introduce the concept of web logs to its readers. It highlights the importance of the new internet medium around the world and in countries like Nepal. United We Blog! founders Dinesh Wagle and Ujjwal Acharya are quoted in the article. The half-page long piece is accompanied by the UWB Logo (two founders smiling!).

How “Breaking” are “Breaking News”?

What struck me was that the news of Ambition Academy Miss Teen Nepal 2005 appeared with the tag line “Breaking News” on Kantipur Online. I still wonder if it was exactly the right decision. A critique of online journalism in Nepal

By Satish Jung Shahi

On Saturday night, August 6, popular news web portal Kantipur Online came up with a pretty unusual tagline, which I myself as a former online journalist with the same news site felt quite awkward for a general news piece.

The news was of a less heard about, but yet one of the many other beauty pageants held in Kathmandu these days. The contest was named: Ambition Academy Miss Teen Nepal 2005 (Named after a college organizing the event). The official media partners (a usual tag line event managers tend to adopt these days) was no wonder Kantipur TV and The Kathmandu Post, both sister units of the Kantipur Group.

What struck me was that the news of the event appeared with the tag line “Breaking News” on Kantipur Online, another sister unit of Kantipur Publications, that very Saturday evening when the event took place at the Birendra International Convention Hall in New Baneshwore. I still wonder if it was exactly the right decision.

News online has become so competitive today that web portals tend to claim their news to be so “breaking ” to show you are ahead of your rival portals â?? no matter how much less news worthy the event maybe. And the “Breaking News” tagline has turned so much of an easy access to show that you are actually reporting it ahead than others in the same business.

I remember, three years ago within days of the launch of Kantipur TV, I myself as one of the few news producers had aired a news piece labeling it as “Breaking News” with raw footages of a road accident that had occurred in Tinkune while the evening prime time news was just on air. There was no death but just minor injuries in the incident. The key intension at that time was to only show the viewers that Kantipur Television was one of the few television stations that aired live news broadcasts that time. Plus, it was a great opportunity to display the strength of the news team that it was able to air “Breaking News” anytime as and when required. But there was still a huge debate in the newsroom over if the event was “breaking” enough.

With online news, experiences are similar to television and FM stations. News in these mediums can be instantly reported to the general mass and corrections can be made easily without any record of it as in the print media. And in case of web news, there are instances when major corrections are made in the text even without an apology it owes to its readers.

To cut the competition short, at this age, is television news that has a lot more resources than the web news team. All an online journalist can afford to do today is to sit in front of the television or radio and re-report what the broadcaster is reading. That is what you can observe is happening with both Kantipur Online and Nepalnews these days. It also happened on a late night in 2003 when I was one of the only two reporters for Kantipur Online reporting the “Breaking News” of the breakdown of government-Maoist ceasefire with the attack on an army garrison in Dang.

But why did “Miss Teen Nepal” appear so “breaking” to Kantipur Online? Is it because reporters at Kantipur Online misjudged it as a mega event or is it because its sister groupings were the official media partners to the event?

Interestingly, Nepalnews responded on Sunday evening with two-major “Breaking News” on its site. The first was titled “Rebels attack police posts in Banepa” and the second one was posted within hours saying, “Clashes in Kalikot“. The second piece even had the time of the news posting inscribed beside its headline to outrun its rivals.

On a lighter note, here are a few more suggestions to both Kantipur Online and Nepalnews staffers for their further “Breaking News” stories:

1. BREAKING NEWS: Dog Barks in Tinkune (Remember, Kantipur is reporting it to you first!)
2. BREAKING NEWS: Chicken crosses the road in Durbarmarg (Remember, Nepalnews is reporting it to you first!)
3. BREAKING NEWS: No breaking news today (Remember, this is the best Breaking News on a dry news day!)

Any more additions, suggestions please?

Satish Jung Shahi is a freelance journalist. These are his personal views and they do not necessarily represent UWB.

10 Responses to “How “Breaking” are “Breaking News”?”

1. mina Says:
August 8th, 2005 at 11:09 pm

Dirty salesmanship of famale flesh. These women should have replaced those poor Badi women if they have so much pleasure of flesh show.
2. mister Says:
August 8th, 2005 at 11:24 pm

���ा ल��ठ� भर��र� भा��िय�� BREAKING NEWS
3. Murchhana. Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 12:17 am

But I don’t see any mistake giving those news the breaking news status. What’s wrong? The more those sites come up with updates and breaking news of the day, the more we will be benefited. Information is the key. And we have to use that key to the fullest.

At least you knew about the beauty pageant’s result and the Kalikot fighting quickly from those sites. Even in the countries like US, TVs used to give live coverage of even small events because if people are interested in them. So, lets not always criticize things. Think positive, think HP!

Did that sound like another breaking news? LOL
4. Blogbahini Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 2:32 am

It does sound a little weird to have events such as these featured in the ‘breaking..’ section, while other much heart-aching, happening incidents fail to sway reporters’ attention. your concern does draw attention that media these days are pitching in for cheap popularity, but hey, which one isn’t? are you grumpy because yours didnt?? besides, this event isnt as cheap as a ‘dog barking in Tinkune’, it did deserve some attention (albeit not the honor bestowed by kantipur).
5. Nepali Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 9:21 am

Reminds me of the Indian channel “Aaj Tak” which I detest so much.
6. GB Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 11:29 am


You have raised a very pertinent issue here. It is really tragic that our media can not differentiate between the “news” and the “breaking news”.
Is this because, our media is so greedy that they will write anything for money or they lack the capacity of judgement? To me, both of these are unfortunate and dangerous syndrom which will only downgrade our fifth state.

Will our media take note of this?

7. Avipsha Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 1:04 pm

well !
i think,, the purpose of the so called “breaking-news” is served, guess how! simply because, UWB itself broke this “breaking news” as a “breaking news” and all of us, ” the redundent fools of the blogosphere” (note that i m the foolest one), bothered ourselves spitting our best/worst venom upon the triffle” beauty pageant” and the bagatelle ” breaking news” in this comment section. howzzz datt!!
8. Zinta Says:
August 9th, 2005 at 1:11 pm

In a country steeped deelpy in troubles of all kinds, people are still organising beauty pageants…I guess that is the “breaking” aspect of the news. By the way, does any one know journalistic norms of nitty gritties of calling a news a breaking news! Does the writer know or any one ..Please post…it will make an interesting read.
9. Rubina Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 10:09 am

Well, what is new is news. And people are interested in all kinds of news. Not just those including death, violence, blood and gore. Although, a college beauty pageant won’t feature in many people’s “have to know now” item but national and international beauty pageants might. What’s more, many of us lap up news of beauty pageants and celebrities more eagerly than that of yet another car bomb blast in Iraq.

There definitely is a need of sorting through and prioritising in Nepali media but hey! at least we are trying.
10. person Says:
August 18th, 2005 at 10:01 pm

It’s news but not “Breaking News”. It’s nice that something besides violence and killing is going on in the country. The media plays a major role in most countries when it comes to influence so it should be more aware of how it words events and where it places them but its true, like what some other people said, it’s interest. News sites can put things like beauty pageant results in the “breaking news” section of the Entertainment or Events category instead of the main news section which should cover more newsworthy events that aren’t getting enough coverage.

Regression Revisited: Radio Tune and the TV Contract

Radio Nepal changes the signature tune and Nepal Television requests the district administration office to monitor its reporters’ activities

The world is moving forward. America launched the discovery shuttle, India resolved its nuclear issues with the US, China decided on the exchange evaluation. And here in Nepal, we are being forced to return backward in a quick pace. The king dismissed the political system considered the world’s most progressive and restored back the remnants of the autocratic Panchayati system. The cabinet is almost same: Tulsi Giri was there and Jagat Gauchan has recently been added. I am not sure if the signboard of Parliamentary Secreteriat is there in Singha Durbar but I won’t be surprised if that has been replaced by the signboard of Rastriya Panchayat. Because the king has started the game of replacement: democracy by autocracy, human rights by gun rights, Gorkhapatra by Gorkhapatra (Nepali spelling changed) and democratic raodi tune by panchayati radio tune.

From yesterday, on the ‘auspicious’ occasion of the happy birthday of king’s grandson Hridayandra, state-owned Radio Nepal changed its news signature tune to remind people those ghostly days of Panchayat. The tune was last changed after the restoration of democracy in 1990.

Anyway, the topic I want to write about is not the change in the signature tune but the strange behavior of Nepal Television. After firing many reporters with democratic background, the state-owned TV station is renewing/awarding contracts to several journalists with a draconian “reference”. UWB has received the copy a contract paper. The beginning and the body text is normal and usual. But the reference, at the end of the contract, makes everyone shocking.

A copy of the contract has been referred to the related District Administration Office (we are not revealing that here because of the possible problem for the reporter) requesting the office to keep an eye on the reporter’s activities. “It is requested to the District Administration Office to monitor the reporter’s activities.” Well, what time has come in Nepal? Nepal Television doesn’t trust its own reporter. They donâ??t have confidence over their own employee.


5 Responses to “Regression Revisited: Radio Tune and the TV Contract”

1. Roshan Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Stupid and nonesense things…Yes! our King going backward…he wants AUTOCRACY…system want to run by GUN and BATTLE..if he is thinking going to BACKWARD and want to run the country using GUN POWER it means that he wants END OF KING SYSTEM in Nepal becuase will come to the road soon…..People need democracry, human rights they dont need your GUN SYTEM in the country
2. kala kisna Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 6:34 pm

Kamila ko kaal aayo Bhana powakh aaucha, sall ko kall aayio Bhana sahar pascha, aani rajtantra ko kaal aaya pachi yasti huncha.
3. chinta Says:
July 30th, 2005 at 11:35 pm

I don’t understand why he is so stupid, why he has to bring everything as was in Panchayat. Man, if given a free hand, this man will also reduce 13 years from Bikram Sambat, and say this is 2048 BS.

Gyan bro sucks.
4. Whosyourdaddy Says:
July 31st, 2005 at 4:01 am

Nepal have already been divided and conquered away by our Moaist dai and bhai and didi baheni ..and soon, when they have it all… communism will come back to Nepel when its dying all over … even China is florishing in the its special zones where capitalism rules… so what the king does is irrelevent !!

You guys have really lost sight of the real issues and got yourself lost under the same bureaucracy that you so much abhor !! shame shame shame
5. peter Says:
August 1st, 2005 at 11:02 am

Are radio stations allowed to broadcast political news or not?

Listening to Radio Nepal’s 8pm broadcast last night was a trial.

In no particular order: There was a report about the Police “Opening Fire” on a student demo in Kathmandu somewhere or other. Surely this is Political News.

Then there was a report about the crown prince’s son’s birthday – 4 days late! How insolent is that!

I have to say the news presenter’s voice was reminiscent of the WWII wartime radio broadcaster called Law Hawhaw infamous for his germany based radio propagandacasts – he was later tried for treason.

Really, Radio Nepal why not just turn off your transmitters and save us all a little pain.

And to the Tosser who blocks the BBC broadcasts you should have your fingers slammed in a door.