President Bhandari stresses on qualitative development of journalism

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KATHMANDU — President Bidya Devi Bhandari has spoken of the need of bringing about qualitative along with its quantitative development in the journalism sector with the establishment of democratic system in the country.

She also called on the media sector to contribute towards creating a positive environment for strengthening the republic and consolidating nationality, and for the holding of the election to the House of Representatives and the State Assemblies.

Addressing to the prize distribution ceremony held at the Rastrapati Bhawan, Shital Niwas today, the Head-of-the-State stressed on utilizing the rights and the achievements secured by the Nepali press for positive purposes. The prize distribution ceremony was organized on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of Press Council Nepal.

Referring to the instances of the social media and in some cases even other media becoming irresponsible, President Bhandari reminded, “There are negative consequences in society when the rights and privileges are misused – it foments anarchy and unrestrained liberty.”

She said journalism loses its accuracy, balance and credibility if the news is presented in an unrealistic manner in the name of becoming first in disseminating the news.

President Bhandari urged the media to fulfill its responsibility of keeping a watch on the three major organs of the state and prodding them to maintain a check and balance with the objective of establishing a just society.

Acting Chairman of the Council, Kishor Shrestha cautioned the journalists against misusing their ‘press passes’ and the freedom of expression, saying the entire profession gets a bad name if the journalists are not responsible.

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) president Govinda Acharya urged the journalists to remain under self-censorship for professionalism of their trade, stating the Federation would run an awareness campaign on the journalists’ code of conduct.

Prizes conferred

On the occasion, the ‘Press Council Gopal Das Journalism Award’ was conferred on journalist Bal Krishna Chapagain and the ‘Press Council Surendra Bahadur Basnet Journalism Award’ on journalist Dharmendra Jha. Each award carries a purse of Rs 105,000.

Likewise, the Saptakoshi FM Radio (Sunsari) got the ‘Press Council Code of Conduct Award’. It carries a purse of Rs 25,000.

The ‘Press Council Literary Journalism Award’ was presented to journalists Harihar Khanal (Chitwan) and Biyogi Budhathoki (Kathmandu).

This year’s the ‘Press Council Column Writing Journalism Award’ was conferred on Murali Prasad Yadav (Saptari), the ‘Press Council Language Journalism Award’ on Bina Sinha (Kathmandu), and the ‘Press Council Women Empowerment Journalism Award’ on Indira Aryal (Butwal), Kamal Panthi (Kathmandu), Tika Bista (Surkhet), Kopila Kandel (Baglung) and Anjali Thapa (Makawanpur).

Om Prasad Ghayal (Parbat), Ram Kumari Shrestha (Llaitpur), Radheshyam Pattel (Parsa), Ram Chandra Chaudhari (Kanchanpur) and Naman Kumar Shahi (Dailekh) received the ‘Press Council Active Journalist Award’.

Similarly, the ‘Press Council Inclusive Journalism Award’ was given away to Danda Gurung (Kathmandu), Man Singh BK (Rolpa), Rabin Thapaliya (Kathmandu), Anil Kumar Karna (Kathmandu), Madan Thakur (Rautahat), Santosh Ruchal (Dhankuta), Mahesh Kumar Chaudhari(Sunsari) and Bijeta Chaudhari (Kathmanu).

The Press Council Youth Empowerment Journalism Award was presented to six people, the Press Council Effective Writing Journalism Award to five people and the Press Council Active Journalism Award to three persons from various districts. Each of these three awards carries a purse of Rs 10,000.

Council’s former Chairpersons and the employees serving it for more than 20 years and those employees rewarded for outstanding performance also were awarded on the occasion. RSS