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Press bashing



KIRAN PANDAY

Himalmedia, which has been under series of attacks in the past, has once again been targeted. On Sunday, the media house, its staff and journalists were attacked. Property was vandalised and journalists were beaten up. The attack on Himalmedia is an attack on press freedom and democracy. These attacks have not only made fun of the rights of the press but also the constitution. Vandalism of this kind proves that rule of law doesn't exist in the country.

This incident has made it clear that Nepali media is helpless. Sadly, this time around, it is not the state suppressing the media but the citizens. Psychological torture, threats and assault on journalists, attack on a media house, and vandalism of cars and arson of newspapers are some of the examples of these condemnable acts. The press has the right to criticise wrongdoings prevalent in society. And just because the news you want is not disseminated, written or published doesn't mean that a media house should be attacked. If one doesn't agree with what a publication is saying, there are other constructive ways to disagree. The media may have its weaknesses. But if journalism is to flourish, the rights of the press need to be guaranteed and an attack, like the one in Himalmedia, cannot be justified.

It is embarrassing that the assailants are linked to CPN-M, which is leading the present government. The party may not be directly involved, but if members of the party or that of sister organisations are, the party loses its credibility. If the party or the associate organisations are not vigilant in putting a stop to activities like this, all the years of sacrifice and struggle will be wasted.

Prime Minister Puspha Kamal Dahal has already said that he is committed to investigating this distressing incident at Himalmedia. Let's hope that this commitment is followed through and that the media is able to play a more constructive role again.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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