Kathmandu: The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower house of Nepal’s federal parliament, Devraj Ghimire on Friday made a serious allegation against the media fraternity in Nepal.
Speaking to journalists in his own office at Singha Durbar on Friday, he said that journalists are on sale in Nepal. Interestingly, he made this allegation while talking to the members of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), an umbrella organization of Nepali journalists meant to work for safeguarding rights and professional security, including the overall well-being, of journalists across the country. The Speaker was of the opinion that yellow journalism is rife in Nepal. He further insisted that Nepali journalists are not working with full responsibility.
“Don’t take it otherwise, but the journalists are not doing journalism with as much accountability as they ought to. Yellow journalism is at a scary level. Journalists are on sale here and this has had a serious impact on our society,” he said.
In recent times, there have been incidents of serious allegations, even verbal attacks on journalism and journalists in Nepal, from political figures in power. A month ago, while announcing his resignation from the post of Home Minister, Rabi Lamichhane, a former media professional of a considerable reputation himself, made serious allegations against certain media houses and journalists.
The FNJ quickly denounced Lamichhanee and issued a statement condemning his remarks.
The umbrella organization of the Nepali journalists, however, appears to be selective in its formal objections to the statements that denigrate the Nepali media fraternity.
In December last year, in a public program, the ambassador of Germany to Nepal, Dr Thomas Prinz, had accused journalists of printing news formulated in Beijing. “There are a lot of journalists here who are directly paid from your big neighbor, printing news which is formulated in Beijing,” he had said. Bhim Rawal, former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, objected to the German envoy’s statement saying that his remarks violated the dignity of Nepal. But the FNJ had maintained a silence on the issue.