November 10, 2008

Said Journalism

Some of the “lead” of news on Nepali print media on November 10, 2008.


Minister for Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly Affairs, Dev Prasad Gurung has said it is the government’s policy to make the Judiciary independent, accessible and transparent.
(Program: Constituent Assembly session)

Former Prime Minister and leader of Nepali Congress, Sher Bahadur Deuba has said his party has taken seriously the relief distribution and rehabilitation activities for people affected by floods, inundation and landslides in far-west region.
(Program: Public meeting at Phulbari, while visiting the area affected by flood)

Minister for Industry Asta Laxmi Shakya has said agreements with British and American organizations were made for the exploration of petroleum products in various 10 sites of Tarai.
(Program: Constituent Assembly session)

Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Jayaprakash Prasad Gupta has said no government has ever given priority to the agriculture though it is the backbone of national economy.
(Program: Constituent Assembly session)

Minister for Industry, Ashtalaxmi Shakya has said an industry-friendly policy is to be brought for reviving the sick industries and creating conducive environment for setting up new industries.
(Program: Inauguration of a Seminar)

Minister for Physical Planning and Works, Bijaya Kumar Ghachchhadar has said resolving issues of urban development is challenging task.
(Program: Fourth Session of World Urban Forum held in Nanjing, China)

Refuting the allegation that the government media houses have been used on the side of particular party, Minister for Information and Communications, Krishna Bahadur Mahara has said he did not exert any pressure on them.
(Program: Constituent Assembly session)

Senior media persons today said that Nepali press at present should be centered on the institutionalization of democratic republic and promotion of nationality, and advocate for the new constitution.
(Program: Interaction – Media and Role of Press at Present Context)

Minister for Water Resources, Bishnu Poudel has said the government remains firm to achieve its national commitment to produce additional 10 thousand megawatt electricity in next 10 years.
(Program: Constituent Assembly session)

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hisila Yemi has said activities carried out by people of Syangja for internal tourism promotion show their efforts to rise above partisan interest.
(Program: National River and Kali Gandaki Rafting Festival, Syangja)

Former Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress, Girija Prasad Koirala has said constitution-writing task should not be overshadowed under disputes on army adjustment.
(Program: Unveiling statue of Late Ganeshman Singh)


SAID JOURNALISM, the exclusive facade of Journalism in Nepal – immortalized by unmatchable REPORTING trend for years and years.



September 22, 2008

Crisis in Darfur: How should US respond to it?
A talk show televised by CNN on September 21, 2008.

Former Secretaries of the States. Collin Powell, Madeleine Albright and three others.

Issues: Genocide in Darfur – Should the US intervene.

China is selling weapons to the government of Sudan, in turn the Sudanese government is using the “Chinese” weapons to “kill” the anti-government/rebels, leading to a genocide in the matter of five years. (This was also one of the reasons why they and the human rights organizations like RTI and RSF wanted other nations to boycott the Beijing Olympics.)

The show ends with most of them agreeing that the US should do something about Darfur crisis.


Surprisingly, the real reasons of the conflict in Darfur were not discussed even once during the whole show.

A classic example of how mainstream media limits the issue of discussion, how it narrows the range of discourse; how mainstream media successfully engages people in a so called “active debate” but always manages to limit the discourse within that “range”.

The participants constantly belabored about “genocide”, “human rights” and “crisis” – they even debated, sometimes putting opposing opinions. But never once did they talk about the reasons of the conflict.

This phenomenon has been explained best by the renowned media critic – Noam Chomsky:

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views.

That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

They indulged in a highly active discussion – critical and analytical. Freedom of Expression. Right to Information. Set the agenda. Everything seemed highly democratic. But through out the whole period, they did not even address the other side.. the real side.. the “real reality”.

All done with purpose.

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Khatey Journalists – Thukka Myaa

June 13, 2008

Shameful. Disgraceful. Nepali journalism is a supreme example of “khatey” journalism and “jholay” journalism. Thukka – randi ka baan patrakaar bhanauda khatey haru. No wonder, no one really respects “journalists” in Nepal, especially the reporters and photographers.

How I hate to be a part of it!


Khatey Journalist

Khatey Journalist

Khatey Journalist

Khatey Journalist

Pic 1: There were about 100 reporters and camerapersons registered for the press conference, however almost 200 plus showed up – with some non-reporters as well. Those on the pic are trying to sneak inside past the first main gate.

Pic 2: Kaski Hall. Former King comes and becomes overwhelmed with the number of journalists present in side the hall. He is interrupted several times with incessant “halla-khalla” journalists were continuing with. He finishes his statement with several journalists at the back still persisting with their commotion.

Pic 3: “Raja le baseko chair”. One asshole taking picture of another asshole sitting on “the” chair. Several “foreign” journalists did not want to miss the opportunity of the life time either and took pictures of themselves posing on the chair. Eventually that chair was broken apart in a “tussle” between the journalists. Kantipur daily has the picture of the unfortunate royal chair.

Pic 4: Another asshole.

Jholay Journalism and the New Nepal

June 10, 2008

Who is a Jholay Patrakar:

Political party workers turned journalists/reporters/editors; typically carrying a bag (jhola and thus Jholay) and with the party’s hidden agenda and propaganda well tucked inside. Or, any journalist who seeks aspirations, benefits, blessings or favors in some sort/shape from the political parties.

In the recent years, Jholay Patrakar is also the one who carries “chosen” vested interests and certain “hidden agendas” of media houses, especially in the “big” private media organizations.

The trend of “Jholay Patrakar” and “Jholay Patrakarita (Jholay Journalism)” seems to have emerged after the democracy of 2046 BS in Nepal. Political parties unscrupulously made their cadres infiltrate the media houses. The government media suffered ghastly. For instance, with each change in government, many such Jholay Patrakars, representing various political parties, were able to position themselves inside Gorkhapatra, Nepal Television, Radio Nepal, RSS (National News Agency) – and operate for the benefits of the parties.

An example of Jholay Journalism:

The text below is a news text written by a reporter from RSS, the National News Agency.

Lalitpur, June 5:

Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Matrika Prasad Yadav said the government was set to provide Nagarjuna palace as a temporary residence to the former king Gyanedra Shah so as to remove him from the Narayanhiti palace.

Minister Yadav said so while speaking at a programme organized by National Trust for Nature Conservation to mark the World Environment Day here today.

It was not necessary to manage a residence to the former king as he is now an ordinary citizen, Minister Yadav opined, adding that the Nagarjuna palace was also for temporary period.

He further said that some forces were still busy in obstructing the route of Maoist progression through pretensions. Similarly, saying that conservation of the forest is impossible until the conversation of natural heritages, he viewed that forest mafias are still active to fulfill their petty desire.

On the occasion, Minister Yadav also gave way the prizes along with certificates to the winners in various games organized to mark the Day.

Member Secretary of the Trust, Bimal Kumar Baniya said people from all sectors should pay attention to nature conservation.

RSS, June 5 2008.

What will trouble any sane mind is the way the lead of the news article is started. It starts with the statement of the minister which is totally irrelevant with the purpose of the function, just said to “heat up” the crowd and the atmosphere.

Even though the occasion was the “World Environment Day 2008” and the program was being held predominantly among school students, teachers, and parents, our honorable Minister Yadav tactfully inserts a completely unrelated issue in his speech and then, our Jholay Patrakar follows it up by making the minister’s statement as the lead.

Also, in the above news text, there lacks a serious “editorial watchfulness” (along with some grammar mistakes: conversation and way instead of conservation and away).

Sadly, this type of “which minister said what” in the lead of the news articles is one of the most common practices we can see in any format – paper or electronic; government or private.

Journalists, many, are usually busy attending press meets, functions, tea-snacks parties and ceremonies. They are also involved in multitude of unions, organizations and NGOs – serving their self interests and agendas.

In this democratic age as well, unfortunately, the trend of “Jholay Journalism” is still a big part in both the government and private media houses.

“Free journalism and Free media” – concepts that look real on papers and declarations only!


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Thou Shall Not Castigate Supremo Party

June 2, 2008

Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Slur Against Media

The outrageous slur against the media and other political parties by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during a public gathering at Tundikhel has exposed his personal mentality and that of his party. In an attempt to outshine his own colleagues by drawing more applause from his own henchmen, Dahal forgot to conceal his true self. He did not hesitate a bit to show his hatred for the free media and democratic politics. He descended to the level of warning the press not to write anything against his party—an open and ugly display of totalitarian mentality. Interestingly, the very next day they tried to mend fences because they did not wish to unmask their undemocratic face in front of the international community as yet. Baburam Bhattarai did clarify his leader’s gibe by saying that he did not mean to be rude to the media. But it was not said with conviction, so it failed to convince the media. Maybe Bhattarai would not mind letting his nemesis get some bad repute. Dahal himself has not yet mustered enough courage to admit the mistake.

Hisila Yami

Obviously, the Maoists will try to downplay their slur at the center, but the message from the former rebel chief will have a far-reaching impact all over the country. Local level cadres take their cue from what their leader speaks at the center. It is likely that they will now unleash a reign of terror against media people all over the country. However, it seems the Maoists already have a central policy to attack the opposition press. Even before Dahal spoke against the media, his cadres had been attacking journalists in Kailali district. Journalists Lucky Chaudhary, Hemanta Paudal have been displaced after facing murder attempts. They had written about a local temple and pond, which a local Maoist leader did not like. The situation has worsened to such an extent that over a dozen editors from the district have announced closure of their newspapers owing to threats and insecurity.

Maoist Press Freedom

After Dahal issued an open threat from Tundikhel, fear has swept the minds of journalists around the country. If anything bad should happen to a single member of the press, comrade Dahal will be held responsible. During dire times such as now, we can do nothing but urge international rights organizations, press freedom organizations and all forces supportive of the freedom of expression and democracy to immediately pay heed to the worsening situation of media persons in Nepal. The diplomatic community in Nepal that has been strongly advocating support of the Maoists must tell them to stop intimidating the press. If the Nepali press fails to get national and international support, we believe our media will be gagged. We feel sorry to realize that in threatening the media, Dahal has followed the line of the infamous Tulsi Giri—chairman of the erstwhile king’s cabinet.

Editorial, The Kathmandu Post
June 1, 2008.


Prachanda Warns Kantipur

Another dictator in making?

Hyperopic Maoists & myopic pundits

Misuse of fund – Not a new story

March 3, 2008

Amnesty International Nepal

Question: Will China ever give a damn about some Amnesty International in Nepal protesting about its system of capital punishment?
Answer: NO.

Question: Will the gathering amassed by the Amnesty International Nepal at the Maitighar Mandala, Kathmandu – with colourful banners and placards – ever make China think about its policy? Will China now consider reformation of their current ruling system which, as the media has reported, violates human rights?
Answer: NO.

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“Lip-Sync” for Career

February 18, 2008

Say No to Track Singers

(The top ten contestants of Nepali Tara 2 performing, dancing and lip-sync-ing at the Public High School, Dharan on September 2007. Photo by Bijay Gajmer.)

“Lip-Sync” for Career
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