‘Press Freedom in Nepal’ launched

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba launched ‘Press Freedom in Nepal‘, a book by Dr. Mahendra Bista, amidst a ceremony at Nepal Tourism Board Auditorium, Kathmandu on July 6. Authored by Dr. Bista, the president of Federation of Nepali Journalists, the book is published by the Shangrila Books Pvt Ltd in cooperation with Center for Media Research – Nepal (CMR-Nepal).

The book outlines the historical development of the concept of press freedom, contemporary principles of press freedom, the relationship between press freedom and democracy as well as analyzes press freedom in Nepal vis-a-vis the development of media and legal system.Continue reading

Media Mapping Report launched

The Center for Media Research – Nepal (CMR-Nepal) launched ‘Mediako Awastha ra Pahunch: Sudurpaschimanchal Bikash Chhetrako Adhyaan’ (Situation and Reach of Media: A Study of Far West Development Region) today. The book is the outcome of the media mapping conducted by CMR-Nepal in 9 districts of Far West Nepal (Province No 7) under the funding of the Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD).

The book is freely downloadable here and the photos from the launching event are here.

CMR-Nepal elects new ExCom; Bhuwan KC elected chair

The Annual General Assembly (AGM) of the Center for Media Research – Nepal unanimously elected Bhuwan KC as its new chairman to lead a new executive committee for 2017-18.

Rishikesh Dahal was elected vice-chairman whereas Umesh Shrestha was elected secretary and Bikash Karki as treasurer. Rajneesh Bhandari, Trishna Acharya and Deepak Aryal were elected ExCom members in the AGM that also approved 12 new members as recommended by the outgoing ExCom.Continue reading

‘Press Freedom in Constitution of Nepal 2015’ released

PressFreedomTo mark the first year of the Consitution of Nepal 2015, the CMR-Nepal is releasing a new paper titled ‘Press Freedom in the Constitution of Nepal 2015‘ by Ujjwal Acharya and Santosh Sigdel.

The paper reviews the provisions related to the press freedom in the new constitution. It concludes that the reasonable restrictions to the right to the opinion and expression, and the right to communication, and the provisions of the state of emergency, are vague in terming thus open for misinterpretations.

The author Acharya is a journalist and media researcher; and also the founder-chairman of the CMR-Nepal. Sigdel is an advocate specializing in human rights and having special interest in the civil liberties. Both are well known for their works on press freedom.

Download the report here (PDF) or in the Download / Resource section.

Online Media Directives threatens press freedom & FoE online

The Online Media Operation Directives 2016 is a serious threat to press freedom and freedom of expression online in Nepal as the newly approved directives goes against the core principles of democracy and free press.

The Government of Nepal, on June 14, approved the ‘Online Media Operation Directives – 2016 (Nepali PDF link | Unofficial / draft English translation)’ aimed to ‘make online journalism responsible, respected and bring it within the jurisdiction of Press Council of Nepal’. However, the document gives an overall impression that the motive behind the Directives is not to facilitate the development of the online media but rather the authoritarian style control over the online media, and criminalization of freedom of expression online.

Legal Censorship

Clause 21 of the Directives gives the state right to disrupt the website if a) online media is found operated without registration or annual renewal, b) materials deemed unpublishable is published or broadcast, and c) any act deemed against the Directives or applicable laws. Clause 6 also states that if the online media failed to renew annually, the service of the online media shall be obstructed according to the existing laws.

This empowers the state’s agency arbitrary power of censorship. The Department of Information is stated as the agency to the register and renew the online media ‘if the documents presented are found satisfactory after necessary verification’. The blocking of website that are deemed to be censored will then be blocked without judicial process on the decision of the Department.

The censorship provision is against the constitutional rights of the citizens; and a violation of the Constitution.Continue reading