Right Honorable President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has expressed her confidence that accountability in journalism can be ensured only when the journalists are fully abided by the code of conduct. Addressing the 52nd anniversary of the Press Council Nepal, President Bhandari stated that the adherence to the code of conduct helps in eliminating most of the weaknesses observed in the field of mass media during the continuous practice of democracy. She praised the role played by the Council in making the journalism sector more responsible in the face of challenges.
She appreciated the initiatives of the Press Council Nepal for protecting people’s right to information through media monitoring and taking legal actions against the media and journalists who are found violating the code of conduct after investigation and identification.
Emphasizing upon the vital role played by the media for the political transformation of Nepal, President Bhandari stressed that the Council needs to be further stronger to manage the journalism sector.
She stated that the Council must act itself for owning public trust and expectations upon it and expressed happiness for its initiative to establish Press Museum.
Undoubtedly Council Works Well: Law Minister
Speaking on the occasion, Honorable Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Government Spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that there is not an iota of doubt that the council has been working in an impartial manner for the rights, interests and protection of journalists. Stating that the council is a judicial body of working journalists and media entrepreneurs across the country, he said that the council has been playing an important role to discourage the malfunctioning that might spread in the media sector. Affirming that the Press Council Nepal is the guardian body of the entire Nepali media sector, Minister Karki said that it is important to be aware of the rampant practice of throwing mud in the media sector.
Council in the verge to gain more public trust upon media sector: Chairman Basnet
Chairman of the Council, Bal Krishna Basnet, said that the Council has been working hard to upsurge the deteriorating public trust upon journalists and journalism. Stressing upon the eroding people’s faith in media sector due to the lack of respect for journalists who remain constantly active in the profession, working day and night, while those taking unethical advantage gain much value, he stated that the Press Council and concerned authorities must take necessary actions to prevent such situations. Referring to the misuse of Press Pass and Press Jacket and unprofessional conduct of unregistered YouTubers, Chairman Basnet informed that the Council has been constantly recommending the government on the need of establishing legal provisions/policy measures for the regulation. For building the capacity of the journalists, he stressed the need of promoting the training, interaction, media dialogue, public hearings, and code of conduct awareness campaign at province and district level as well. He also pointed out that the state should seriously reconsider the meager budget given to the Council.
Gopal Das Journalism Award of the year goes to Senior Journalist Koirala
This year’s “Gopal Das Journalism Award” of the Press Council Nepal has been conferred to senior journalist Bharat Dutta Koirala. President Bidya Devi Bhandari presented the award to Koirala at a function held at the President’s residence Shital Niwas dated 22 September on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the Council.
Similarly, senior journalist Badri Binod Khanal (Pratik) has been awarded “Press Council Surendra Bahadur Basnet Journalism Award”. Gopal Das Journalism Award has been established in the name of Lt. Gopal Das Shrestha, the former chairman of Press Council Nepal and a prominent figure in journalism sector and it carries the cash prize of Rs. 151,000 (one lakhs fifty-one thousand rupees). Surendra Bahadur Journalism Award has been established in 2072 B.S. in the name of founder chairman of Press Council Nepal with the prize carrying a purse of Rs. 110,000 (one lakhs ten thousand rupees). Both these awards are being conferred to senior journalists since 2073 B.S. This year “Press Council Code of Conduct Journalism Award” has been presented to Himalaya Times Daily (Ujjwal Sharma), kathmandu.
Likewise, Bimal Gautam, Baglung (now Kathmandu) and Durgalal KC, Dang have received the “Press Council Resilient Mediapersons Award” while Lucky Chaudhary, Kailali (now: Kathmandu) has won “Press Council Linguistic Journalism Award” for Tharu language. This year’s “Press Council Active Journalism Award” has been conferred to seven journalists including Madhav Nepal, Sindhupalchowk (now: Kathmandu); Bindukanta Ghimire, Lamjung (now: Kathmandu); Gobinda Prasad Chaulagain, Rautahat (now: Kathmandu); Ramananda Gupta, Siraha; Basudev Sharma “Babin”, Sindhupalchok (now: Kathmandu); Sushil Aryal, Gorkha (now: Kathmandu) and Ramesh Dhungel, Ramechhap.
Similarly, “Press Council Youth Journalism Award” has been presented to fourteen journalists including Ghana Shyam Khadka, Bhaktapur; Urbashi Basnet Neupane, Gulmi (now: Kathmandu); LP Devkota, Jumla; Jeevan Sejuwal, Mugu; Megha Raj Khadka, Rukum; KC Lamichhane, Parsa; Devendra Basnet, Dang; Dev Chandra Bhatta, Nuwakot; Chuda Mani Limbu, Jhapa; Bhagwati Thapa, Gulmi (now: Bhaktapur); Shiva Kumar Rijal, Makwanpur, Ramesh Khatiwada, Dolakha; Jagannath Dulal, Sindhupalchok and Tirtha Jaisi, Kailali.
“The Press Council Women Empowerment Journalism Award” has been given to Rupa Gahatraj, Banke; Jamuna Barsha Sharma, Kaski and Anju Karki, Morang (now Kathmandu). “The Press Council Inclusive Journalism Award” has been bagged by Rohit Rai, Sunsari; Ananta Anurag Mahato, Saptari and Karan Tamrakar, Dadeldhura.
Similarly, ‘Press Council Employee Award for the Year” has been won by Mahendra Raj Singh, Senior Administrative Assistant and Kushal Aryal, Media Monitor while “Press Council Employee Encouragement Award” has been given to Rajan Singh, Media Monitor and Madan Krishna Silwal, Senior Computer Operator.
At the ceremony, President Bhandari unveiled the Council’s first publication of the annual English edition of the “PCN Year Book 2020/21”, Samhita Journal and the Council’s 46th Annual Report.
The Council has extended vote of thanks to the World Association of the Press Councils, Press Council of India, Press Council of Myanmar, Turkish Press Council, Press Council of Bhutan, Press Association of India and other organizations for sending congratulatory messages and their warm wishes for the progress and prosperity of Nepali Journalism sector.
PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING AND RSS.