Bhaktapur chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has submitted a memorandum to the Bagmati Province government, showing serious concern over its plan to establish and run mass media on its own. The chapter argued in the memorandum that the province government was planning to run its own media with the intention to shutdown the television, radio, and newspapers currently run in 13 districts.
The chapter submitted the memorandum via Chief District Officer of Bhaktapur, Prem Prasad Bhattarai, today. The allocation of Rs 100 million in the recent policy and programme and the annual budget to set up mass media had undoubtedly targeted to stifle the current media, Bhaktapur FNJ concluded.
It further asserted, “We are of firm opinion that Bagamati Province government’s plan to own and run media not only smothers media run by private and community but also suppresses free press and public voice, thereby mocking at democratic values,”.
It is stated that Bagmati Province has large share of total media in the country – 66 percent, where there are 48 percent of FNJ members. The Bhaktapur chapter has however demanded allocation of financial grants and public advertisement for the protection, promotion and capacity building of mass media.
The province government is warned of stern agitation if the move was not corrected on time.
Receiving the memorandum, CDO Bhattarai said it would be forwarded to the province government with due respect to freedom of expression and press.