Nepali media is the most independent media industry in the world- dr. adhikary


बात मुलाकात में अतिथि हैं डॉ. निर्मलमणि अधिकारी

मीडिया मिरर की साक्षात्कार श्रंखला बात मुलाकात में इस बार अतिथि हैं काठमांडू विश्वविद्यालय नेपाल में पत्रकारिता के प्रोफेसर व विभागाध्यक्ष डॉ.निर्मल मणि अधिकारी। उनसे विशेष बातचीत की मीडिया मिरर के सम्पादक प्रशांत राजावत ने।

Today, Shri Nirmala Mani Adhikary, Professor and HOD of Journalism in Kathmandu University is the guest in the Interview Series of the BAT MULAKAT of the Media Mirror. His special conversation with Prashant Rajawat Editor Media Mirror.

 

सवाल-  सबसे पहले अपने बारे में कुछ बताइए। शिक्षा कहां से हुई। नेपाल में मूलतः कहां के रहने वाले हैं। मीडिया शिक्षक बनने का ख्याल कैसे आया।

Question- Please tell me about yourself. From where did you    complete your education? Which is your native place in Nepal? Why did you choose the profession of Media Educator.

Answer-   I am from Nepal. I was born in a small village that isalong the Prithvi Highway about 165 km west from Kathmandu (the capital city of Nepal) and 35 km east from Pokhara (a city famous as a tourist destination). Currently, I live within Kathmandu valley and have been teaching in Kathmandu University since about 11 years. I happen to be the very first faculty of the university in our discipline (Media Studies here).With regard to my education, I am completely made in Nepal. I completed my school level education from a school within our village municipality. I studied Intermediate of Science (I.Sc.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara. In the year 2000, I came to Kathmandu to join Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Tribhuvan University. In 2001, when the Master of Mass Communication and Journalism (MAMCJ) was launched for the first time in Nepal, I decided to join it because I was working in journalism since the I.Sc. days. Since our batch was the very first batch of MAMCJ in Nepal, news media as well as academia had got special attention to it. Even the semester-wise result of our batch was made news in the media. May be due to some level of recognition I had already earned as a journalist as well as an author (my first book was published when I was 20), or due to the news coverage on my performance in MAMCJ, some colleges approached me with offers for teaching position even before I had completed the study of MAMCJ. This is how I came into media teaching and training. In 2007, when Kathmandu University approached me, I accepted the offer and joined the university as the Lecturer of Media Studies.

 

सवाल- पत्रकारिता भी की है आपने कभी

Question-  Have you ever joined journalism?

Answer- I started journalism career very early, when I was studying Intermediate of Science (I.Sc.) in Pokhara. It was not due to any previous plan, but due to editors’ insistence. Originally, I used to write literary pieces from the age of nine (9) and got opportunity of being published from the age of twelve (12). When I went to Pokhara to join the college, I already had earned some level of recognition in the field of literature. When the editors met me in person, they started insisting me to write articles too (not only literary pieces) as there was dearth of columnists who would write on contemporary issues, whereas there was mushrooming of literary contributors. Thus I started writing on contemporary issues. After some months, the editors started persuading me to be in the field of news reporting. This is how I became a journalist. During my journalism career, I worked as a reporter for very brief time period, and mostly I worked in the editing department. I worked as feature editor, news editor, executive editor and chief editor of a number of newspapers, magazines and a newsportal. My journalism career ended when I joined the university and I focused on research.

 

सवालः नेपाल में मीडिया का कौन सा माध्यम सबसे पावरफुल हैं, प्रिंट मीडिया, इलेक्ट्रॉनिक मीडिया  या डिजिटल मीडिया।

Question- In Nepal, which is the popular mode of media-Print Media, Electronic Media or Digital Media?

Answer- Nepal has witnessed a boom of media industry including print, broadcast and digital media. According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, we have as many as 740 FM radio stations in Nepal (https://moic.gov.np/upload/documents/fm-list-2074-04-16_1501498105.pdf). The number of television stations is 116 and the number goes up if we also include the locally operated channels by cable service providers2

(https://moic.gov.np/upload/documents/tv-list- 2074-04- 16_1501498146.pdf). There are at least a dozen national broadsheet dailies published from Kathmandu, and hundreds of other newspapers and magazines are published from district headquarters and other cities and towns. The Internet access has increased tremendously in the recent years. More than half the population of Nepal now has access to Internet. The power of particular media form depends on the context and issues. However, it can be observed that social media is increasing its influence very fast especially in the capital city Kathmandu. Nepali radio stations are known for their connectedness with the local community, whereas TV stations have national appeal strategy. Newspapers and magazines have influence in agenda setting of policy matters. Meanwhile, as news media are perceived as politically biased, the level of influence depends on political dimensions.

 

सवालः नेपाल में सोशल मीडिया को लेकर लोग कितने एक्टिव हैं।

Question- Whether the public of Nepal are active in Social Media or not?

ans– It is estimated that the number of Facebook users in Nepal is more than 8 million, whereas that is of Twitter and YouTube is about 4 million and 6 million respectively. It is to note that Nepal’s total population is estimated less than 30 million. The social media users are very active, and even there have been strong influence of social media activism in political matters and policy issues too. It is interesting to note that some of the international competitions based on online voting have resulted with the win of Nepali participants. If compared to the number of social media users from Nepal to that of abroad, it is understandable that such results are only due to very active participation of Nepali Netizens. It is observed that people have serious concerns with regard to over-usage of social media and its negative impact.

 

सवालः नेपाल में भारत की मीडिया की कितनी पहुंच है। कौन से अखबार, पत्रिकाएं या चैनल वहां नियमित उपलब्ध हैं।

Question- what is the reach of Indian Media in Nepal? Which news paper, magazine and channels are regular available in Nepal.

ans- Almost all of the leading Indian newspapers and magazines are available in Kathmandu. Regional Indian newspapers and magazines have sizeable readership in Nepal’s districts adjacent to Indian states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim). Leading Indian TV channels are available in Nepali cable TV system. Thus, Nepal has very liberal policy for the Indian media. Contrastingly, the Indian side has failed to ensure such friendly policy to Nepali media. There are many hurdles from Indian side thereby not letting Nepali newspapers and magazines for being distributed in Indian Territory. Same is the case with Nepali TV channels.

 

सवालः जैसे भारतीय मीडिया में अगर भाषा की दृष्टि से देखें तो हिंदी मीडिया की पहुंच ज्यादा लोगों तक हैं चाहे न्यूज चैनल हों या अखबार, पर साख यानी क्रेडिविलिटी अंग्रेजी मीडिया की है। नेपाल में ऐसा कुछ है क्या। वहां किस भाषा की मीडिया प्रभावी है।

Question- In India, the approach of the Hindi media is more than English Media but the credit is less, either it is news channels or news papers, but what is the situation in Nepal and which language is influencive  there for the media? 

ans- In Nepal, the Nepali language media are far ahead to English media both in terms of their audience size and social influence. Unlike to India, where there is no single language that is understood and spoken throughout the country, Nepal has “Nepali” language that is understood and spoken by the vast majority of Nepali people throughout the country. Nepali is the mother tongue of about half of Nepal’s population, and it is the lingua franca of Nepal that can connect people of different language. This situation gives an advantage to Nepali language media here in Nepal.

 

सवालः नेपाली मीडिया स्वतंत्र है या कोई सरकारी अंकुश।

Question- Whether the Nepali Media is independent or there are some restrictions?

ans- Constitutionally and legally, Nepal has such a media system that could be considered one of the most independent media industries in the world that can enjoy press freedom to the optimum level. There are some government-owned media including Gorkhapatra (Nepal’s first newspaper being published since 1901 AD), Radio Nepal and Nepal Television. The 1990 constitution of Nepal came up with very liberal provisions for public and private media. There is no government control over the public and private media, and they have full press freedom according to the law. However, the constitutional and legal provisions get affected due to various factors including political instability, ideological bias, corporate influence and I/NGO activism.

 

सवालः चूंकि भारत औऱ नेपाल परस्पर पड़ोसी राष्ट्र हैं और दक्षेस के भी सहयोगी सदस्य हैं दोनो। इसलिए नेपाली मीडिया में भारत की कवरेज को आप किस रूप में देखते हैं। क्या कवरेज से आप संतुष्ठ हैं। और इस कवरेज में ज्यादा मजबूत पक्ष किस तरह की खबरों का है पॉजिटिव या निगेटिव।

Question- India and Nepal are the neighbour country and also they are associate members in SAARC. So in this regard, what is your view for the coverage of the India in the Nepali Media? And are you satisfied with the same? And what is the priority of coverage between the negative news and positive news?

ans- India, Indian events and situations and the activities of Indian Embassy in Kathmandu get significant media coverage in Nepal. The news stories on India and Indian subject matters published in Nepal news media may be neutral, positive or negative depending on situation. When there is cultural dimension, the news coverage is mostly neutral or positive. Whereas, India has very negative image with regard to political matters as Nepali people (including journalists) perceive that India is unnecessarily engaged in Nepal’s internal matter. The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu also has very bad image both in media coverage as well as general people’s perception.

 

सवालः नेपाली मीडिया में भारत की कवरेज को लेकर कोई एक बदलाव जो आपको महसूस होता हो।

Question- Any one change in Nepali Media in regard the coverage of India, what you feel.

ans- The coverage of India in Nepali news media is multidimensional.  Earlier, the news stories on Indian matters would generally be taken from news agencies, but now some of Nepali media have already started deputing own reporters in India. Thus, the news reporting on Indian matters these days may contain an analysis from Nepali perspective too.

 

सवालः आप काठमांडू विश्वविद्यालय में मीडिया विभाग में प्रोफेसर हैं। विश्वविद्यालय में क्या सुविधाएं हैं मीडिया छात्रों के लिए। प्लेसमेंट की क्या व्यवस्था है।

Question- you are a professor of Media Department in Kathmandu University. Which types of facilities are provided to the Media Students and what about the placement?

ans-In Kathmandu University, the students have access to the resources they require as part of their academic study and practicum. Our university is considered the best among Nepali universities for Bachelor in Media Studies programme. Our intake is very few – we take about 20 students only. Most of the students get job from media houses, development agencies and others during their internship. However, most of our students have been going abroad for further study due to which only a few of them are working within Nepal.

 

सवालः भारत में बहुत बड़ी संख्या में ऐसे निजी कॉलेज और विश्वविद्यालयों हैं जहां पत्रकारिता की शिक्षा दी जा रही हैं। नेपाल में क्या स्थिति है।

Question- In India, there are so many private colleges and Universities are providing journalism education. What is the situation in Nepal?

ans- All the universities in Nepal till now are established by the government and there is no private university in Nepal. Of them, Tribhuvan University is the oldest one and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in that university is the oldest journalism department in Nepal. Kathmandu University also has its own department to offer media programme. Meanwhile, Purvanchal University, Mid-Western University and Far-Western University have been offering journalism course without having any central department in the university. There many private colleges that offer media related courses in affiliation with Tribhuvan University and Purvanchal University.

 

सवालः भारत आप आते रहते हैं। भारतीय मीडिया की कोई एक कमी जो आपको बड़े स्तर पर नजर आती हो।

Question- You visit India frequently. As per your views, any one error of the Indian Media at large scale?

ans- I visit India very frequently. I have an opportunity to see Indian academia as well as media from their internal perspective too. Nepali media professionals are much better than their Indian counterpart when we compare them with regard to professional ethics and integrity. Certainly, we do criticize Nepali journalists for their political bias and influence of I/NGO over them; but still they are much better when I compare to Indian situation. The Indian news channels are worst examples – especially when we see their attitude of dramatizing the situation and ill- treatment with the news sources (including the victims). I can see that the direct influence of corporate as well as the government and the practice of paid news adversely affecting the professionalism of Indian news media and journalists.

 

सवालः नेपाल को लेकर भारतीय मीडिया में (टीवी औऱ प्रिंट) बहुतकम कवरेज देखने को मिलती अपेक्षाकृत अन्य दक्षिण एशियाई देशों के। एक रिसर्च में ये बात सामने आई है। इस मामले पर आप क्या कहना चाहेंगे।

Question- according to a research, In Indian Media the coverage of Nepal are less than other South Asian Countries. What is your opinion for the same?

ans- If we see the coverage of Nepal in India media, it is very poor both in terms of quantity and quality. Indian journalists lack understanding of the ground reality of Nepal. As a Nepali who has wide access to India as well as Indian media, I can easily see that the Indian journalists’ approach to Nepal is generally shaped by either government’s strategic briefing or propaganda of Indian intelligence agency. To see Nepal from security strategy perspective merely is the worst thing Indian government and media could do. Most of the Indian media either do not give coverage to Nepal or fail to present the issue pertinently. Consequently, Indian media are contributing to make the Nepali people’s perception to India more negative. India media should start giving more coverage to Nepal related subject matters and that should be free from government’s strategic briefing and the propaganda of intelligence agency. Deputing local reporters in Nepal could improve the quantity and quality of news coverage.

 

सवालः चाहे मधेशी मामला हो या चीन से नेपाल की करीबी मीडिया का रोल बहुत बड़ा है.  भारत नेपाल के संबंधों को लेकर आप किस रूप में देखते हैं।

Question- Whether it is matter of Madheshi or close relationship of Nepal with China, the role of the media is important. How do you see the role of media in regard of the India and Nepal relations?

ans- Madhesi issue is Nepal’s internal matter and the Indian government as well as media must understand this. Both Nepal’s government and Nepali media have been refraining from unnecessary concern in the internal matters of India, and that should be an example. Had you heard of Nepal government issuing any press statement on the separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh or Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh? Example can be taken even the issue of Gorkhaland versus West Bengal. Till now, Nepali media have been very sensitive and responsible when there would be any news coverage on the internal matters of India. We do expect the same level of professionalism from Indian media too. In case of Nepal’s relation with China, also with Pakistan, Indian media have not been trying to

see the ground reality. Nepal is an independent, free, sovereign Nation and we have own foreign policy and security strategy. Both India and China are Nepal’s neighbors that share borders to Nepal. Indian media must understand this reality rather than just subscribing to propagandist attitude. We must understand that Nepal and India are rooted to the same Vaidika civilization, but are two different independent, sovereign, free Nations. The only way to India to secure best relation with Nepal is to refrain from interfering in the internal matters of Nepal and Indian

media could play a significant role in this regard. If there is normalcy, Nepal and India are natural partners strategically, culturally, civilizationally and so on. So, rather than depicting Nepal in the context of India’s relation with China and Pakistan; Indian media should focus on viewing Nepal in the milieu of Nepal-India relation in its own right.

 

सवालः नेपाल और भारत दोनों ही सार्क संगठन के सदस्य राष्ट्र हैं। सार्क संगठन में एक व्यवस्था है मीडिया, संस्कृति, कला आदि क्षेत्रों के लोगों के सहयोगी कार्यक्रम की। चूंकि आप विश्वविद्यालय का हिस्सा हैं…… क्या आप नहीं चाहते दोनों देशों के पत्रकार संगठन मिलकर ऐसे मैत्री कार्यक्रम आयोजित करें।

Question-    Nepal and India are the members in the SAARC organisation. There is a system to organise the associate programmes by the people related to Media, Culture and Art etc. You are the part of University, so would you not like that such type of friendly programmes should be organized by the Media organisations of both Countries.

ans- Certainly there should be such programs and activities. I would like to mention that I convened an international seminar on 3-4 April 2017 in Kathmandu on the role of media for promoting India-Nepal relation. The seminar was organized by Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal (M.P.), India, in collaboration with Kathmandu University and Media Action Nepal.

 

सवालः बहुत संक्षेप में बताइए नेपाली मीडिया में भारत और चीन दोनों में सबसे ज्यादा तवज्जों किस देश को मिलती है और किस टेस्ट की खबरें होती हैं।

Question-   Please tell me in brief, that between China and India, which country get much coverage in the Nepali Media and what is the test of these news? 

ans- In Nepali media, India and Indian subject matters get much more coverage than China and Chinese matters. That is quite natural because Nepal and India have so many things in common. Due to wrongdoings of Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and also due to Indian government’s perceived interference to internal matters of Nepal, the news coverage on such issues has negative angle. But, when we see the social and cultural aspects, the news coverage gets neutral or positive angle.

 

सवालः मीडिया शिक्षक होने के लिए पीएचडी और नेट अनिवार्य है विश्वविद्यालयों में । पर आपको नहीं लगता कि पत्रकारिता का अनुभव रखने वाले लोग ही बेहतर पढ़ा सकते हैं।

Question- PHD or Net is mandatory for the Media Teachers in the Universities. But do you not think that the teachers having the experience of journalism can learn better than others?

ans- There should be fine balance of three types of faculties in the journalism departments: faculties primarily from academic background with research experience, faculties from professional journalism background and journalist-turned- academic faculties. It is my privilege that I was a journalist, I have strong academic background, and also I have led several research projects both in Nepal and abroad.

 

सवालः मीडिया शिक्षा को लेकर नेपाल के छात्रों में क्या उत्साह है।

Question- what is the eagerness of the Nepali Students for the Media Education?

ans- It is a growing field. However, the pay scale in the journalism industry does not encourage them.

 

सवालः मीडिया पर आपने किताबें भी लिखी हैं, कुछ बताइए किस तरह की किताबें हैं ये।

Question- You have written books related to the Media. What is the theme of these books?

ans- Till now, more than 40 books authored/edited by me have been published. I write on wide genres: Communication theory, Media research, Journalism, Literature, Culture, Philosophy, Religion, Political theory, and many more. The largest chunk of these books is on communication, media research and journalism. My latest book that was published a couple of months ago is on political theory. One of the recent books published by UNESCO (Paris) was a research report on journalists’ safety in Nepal. Indian professors and students might have read my book Theory and Practice of Communication – Bharata Muni (2014) published by Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal (M.P.), India.

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