Kathmandu: Media professionals, academics and researchers have said that misinformation, disinformation and fake news can have critical implications to national politics and geopolitics. While speaking at the roundtable discussion organized by Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism (CESIF) in Kathmandu on Friday to disseminate findings of the research entitled “Geopolitics and Information Disorder in Nepal”, they said that misinformation, disinformation and fake news have led to the polarization of public on serious geopolitical issues. “Misleading or fabricated media content on recent issues of geopolitical imports, foreign relations and diplomacy has led to the polarization of the public in several instances, including geopolitical and geostrategic implications,” said Arpan Gelal, Research and Program Coordinator at CESIF. “This was particularly evident in the media coverage of fabricated contents surrounding the ratification of the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact from the parliament and even in the vaccine diplomacy during COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ajaya Bhadra Khanal, Research Advisor at CESIF, presented the research findings. “Along with some important insights on the detrimental impacts of geopolitical misinformation, the study highlights the need for expanded research and collaborative efforts to bring balance and thoughtful discussion,” said Khanal.
While talking about the possibility of Chinese influence in the Nepali media, Parshuram Kafle, Chief Reporter at Nayapatrika, said there is no pressure from the Chinese side in Nepali newsroom but there is a perceived threat.