(By Deepraj Sanyal)
Kathmandu, Jan 25: Journalists from the Karnali region today emphasised the need for a shift in how the Karnali region is depicted in the national media and discourse.
Speaking in an interaction on the challenges and opportunities of journalism in Karnali jointly organised by the Press Council Nepal and the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) here today, the journalists from the region expressed dismay how their region was portrayed – as an impoverished region without any potentials – most of the time by the mainstream media.
They suggested the media to also see the opportunities and the brighter side of Karnali, a remote zone in the mid-western region of the country.
The journalists working in the different media in Karnali also took the opportunity to discuss the various challenges they face. They complained that as the region lacks adequate infrastructures, journalism as is practiced in the region is at an infant stage, and the State and the mainstream media needed to lend it hand to stand up.
FNJ central member Nawaraj Mahatara, presenting a working paper on the theme of the interaction, said the way how the State looked at Karnali was flawed. He said it treated the region in a step motherly manner.
Mahatara said journalism in Karnali faced many problems and demanded that the State and the media bodies like the Press Council, the FNJ and others, as well as the private sector media, to provide support for the capacity enhancement of journalists there. He also called for provision of various incentives for the development of the profession in backward regions like Karnali.
Speakers on the occasion also stressed the need of addressing the major challenges of journalism in Karnali through policy measures. They spoke of the need of promoting journalism education by establishing a media training institute in the region.
Senior editor at RSS Deepraj Sanyal, BBC Nepali service journalist Haridevi Rokaya, Deependra Rokaya, Manarishi Dhital, Narayan Giri, and others emphasised on enhancing the professional capacity of the journalists, providing various incentives to the media operating in the region and policy measures for promoting journalism.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications Dr Minendra Rijal said the infant journalism in Karnali region should be mainstreamed by providing various incentives and adopting the policy of inclusiveness.
FNJ president Mahendra Bista, Coordinator of the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) Asia-Pacific Region, Min Bahadur Shahi, Press Council Nepal chairman Borna Bahadur Karki, National Information Commission chairman Krishna Hari Baskota, newspaper coloumnist Chandra Kishor Jha and the representatives of Nepal Press Union and Press Chautari also underscored the need of identifying the problems of journalism in Karnali and addressing them at the central and local level for the development of the region. RSS