Media's stand on violence should be clear: Minister Banskota - English Version of Pharak Sandesh

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Media's stand on violence should be clear: Minister Banskota

Kathmandu, July 15 (RSS): Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Banskota, has said the media should have clear perspective whether they protect terrorism and violence or not. 

At an interaction organised by Minimum Wages Fixation Committee with media entrepreneurs here today, Minister Banskota expressed the view that the media sector has the responsibility towards democracy and society, so it should not push the country to anarchy and conspiracy. He questioned, "What's the view of Nepali media towards terrorism? Where is the media leading society to if it is the guide to society?" 

The Communications Minister said that the incident of clash between the group carrying violent activities and the police should not been presented unnecessarily linking with indigenous communities and other aspects. Minister Banskota said, "Though there is communist-led government, Nepal is the country with diversity. We are in democracy. Free press is always ensured in democracy. Media itself should maintain discipline." 

Laws brought for socio-economic transformation
Saying different types of laws have been brought for socio-economic transformation after political change, he said, "We have made preparation on communication laws."

The Ministry has not asked other details of personal bank account of the journalists except the bank statement to guarantee whether or not the working journalists have got minimum wages in order to get press pass, according to him. 

He clarified that he was mulling to dissolve the current Committee and to form a taskforce which would abide by rules such as clear classification of media whether media is personal or institutional, whether it would be counted as an industry or service, media will be self-regulatory. Similarly, the new mechanism would ensure no editor or publishers as officer-bearer in Media Council, no repeated appointment of office-bearers in the Council and the like. 

Acknowledge journalists' labour: RSS Chairman Shyamal
On the occasion, National News Agency (RSS) Chairman Harihar Adhikari 'Shyamal' said that the mission journalism which was practiced for achieving democracy was now over. He pressed that the journalists' labour should be appropriately acknowledged and evaluated. 

Adhikari said, "The trend of media owner becoming richer and richer and working journalists becoming poorer and poorer was a fatal trend. The government seems to be serious about it which will contribute to enhancing quality journalism." He spoke of the need for a clear and distinct definition for small media. 

Likewise, Minimum Wage Fixation Committee Chairman Gangadhar Parajuli said journalists' wages was hiked by 25 per cent after the recommendation of the Committee but it was not implemented in many media houses. According to him efforts were underway to assemble government, media entrepreneurs and stakeholders to seek solution to it. 

The minimum wage for working journalists in Nepal has already been determined - Rs 24,377 per month. Chairman of Nepal Media Society, Shuva Shankar Kandel, informed that efforts were underway at the media houses to ensure more salary than the minimum one fixed by the government to journalists. Rs 25,000 would be provided each month. "Let's end the campaigning of blaming the media houses that they underpay media persons," he urged, appreciating the clean feed policy as a positive step.

FNJ General Secretary Ramesh Bista however said it was wrong to use media to make other gains, but arguing loss while paying the journalists. "There is no worry at all if the media houses close down for its failure to pay the journalists," he observed. 

Also speaking on the occasion were- Chairman of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Subash Khatiwada, Chairman of Broadcasting Association Nepal, Chandra Neupane, and member of the Committee, KP Gautam.

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