Consolidating democracy in Nepal through transparent campaign finance

Nepal’s democracy has struggled to deliver since its 2006 People’s Movement, which ended the decade long civil war and established Nepal as a republic. Plagued by corruption, nepotism, and an inability to execute basic duties of governance, the country’s leading political parties have often found themselves in a crisis of public trust that has strengthened the hand of ‘radical political parties and royalist forces seeking to destabilize the state.

During elections, the widespread practice of campaign spending at levels far exceeding legal limits through donations from undisclosed contributors has fueled popular frustration. Furthermore, this practice has distorted representative democracy through the sale of political office, thereby making financiers rather than ordinary citizens the key beneficiaries of the electoral process.

In his presentation at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington DC, CMR-Nepal chairman Tilak Pathak explained why campaign finance must be reformed in order to consolidate democracy in Nepal. Drawing from case studies gathered throughout his career in journalism, he traced the money behind Nepal’s elections and proposed effective mechanisms that can help provide greater transparency and accountability. His presentation was followed by comments with Ivan Doherty.

Download the PDF of Pathak’s presentation here.

Nepal Twitter Users Survey report published

The Center for Media Research – Nepal has published the Nepal Twitter Users Survey 2015: Summary of the Findings. The survey, conducted in January 2015 among 625 respondents, is the continuation of the similar survey conducted in 2013.

The survey is on three broad areas: 1. demographics of Nepali Twitter users, 2. Twitter users’ opinions about the microblogging platform, and 3. psychology of Twitter users on use of Twitter.

To download the report, go to Resources / Download page.

CMR Chair Pathak Receives NED Fellowship

Tilak Pathak, the chairman of the Center for Media Research – Nepal (CMR-Nepal), has received the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Program 2015-16 offered by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

cmr-tilakPathak will spend 5 months (October 2015 to February 2016) in Washington, DC, USA working on a project “Promoting Financial Transparency within Political Parties in Nepal“. Pathak has worked as political correspondent and op-ed editors for top national daily newspapers and a magazine in Nepal throughout his journalistic career.

One of the founding vice-president of the CMR-Nepal, Pathak was unanimously elected chairman in 2013 and will continue the role until early 2016.

The Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program hosts democratic activists, scholars, and journalists for five-month fellowships, bringing fresh insights and perspectives to Washington, DC. The fellowship offers an important opportunity to explore new ideas in a comparative context, undertake individual research, and share best practices with one another.

CMR-Nepal family congratulates Pathak for the fellowship and wish him all the success in his project.

CMR joins GFMD, EJN & Web We Want

The Center for Media Research – Nepal (CMR-Nepal) has joined the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and the Web We Want as a member.

CMR is an associated member of the GFMD. The GFMD is an international membership network of media assistance groups that highlights the importance of independent, pluralistic and sustainable media in social and economic development. GFMD members share a common goal: to foster free, professional and pluralistic media, leading to more open societies, greater transparency and enhanced freedom of expression.

The Ethical Journalism Network promotes ethics, good governance and independent regulation of media content. The EJN was formed in 2011 as a unifying professional campaign bringing together owners, editors and media staff to strengthen the craft of journalism. It works across all platforms and supports partnership at national and international level between media, journalism support groups and the public.

Web We Want is a global initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation. We help everyone to shape and claim the future of the Web.

CMR Marks #IMED2015

The CMR-Nepal organized a discussion program to mark the Int’l Media Ethics Day at its office.

The CMR-Nepal has been marking the day for last 4 years with the Center for Int’l Media Ethics (CIME).

Chairman Tilak Pathak led the discussion with a talk on ‘self-censorship and the limitations of freedom of expression in Nepali journalism’.

The participants shared their experiences and observations on self-censorship and limitations of freedom of expression. More here.