The minister and the anchor

The 12 May episode of Sakas Rajniti, a talk show on Avenues TV in which host Sushil Pandey got into a fiery exchange with Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Upendra Yadav generated an equally heated debate on social media.

The arrogant, undisciplined, rude and bullish behaviour of a mediaperson is making things difficult for those who oppose the government’s Media Bill designed to drag down the press like a stone tied to the neck. This is serious and despicable. An individual’s mistake drags down the whole profession. Gatekeepers should pay attention.

A reporter that claws at and injures the guests under the pretext of an interview is held up as being capable and a model for others. This culture has lead to young reporters behaving in the same way. Society has to save the press from itself.

Yadav accused Thapa of being rude and abusive, and walked out of the studio. Later, supporters from his Nepal Samajbad Party vandalised the Avenues tv office.

First you invite him for an interview, and you force him to leave the show by repeating “you can walk out”. And after the guest leaves, you blame it on him for not being able to answer the question. Maybe this is a warning to others who jump at the chance to be on TV not to go without knowing the context. 

The journalist tells the minister he can walk out, and not to talk nonsense. And then to increase TRP, the channel announces that the minister walked out because he couldn’t answer a question. Journalists need to mind their manners and learn etiquette.

Who trained this journalist? I am shocked and saddened by his arrogance, and lack of manners and self-control. Tough question if asked in a civil and polite manner would have been more effective and earned Avenues TV respect. Hope this raises awareness.

However, there were others who urged viewers to look at the entire video and not just the part where the minister walks out. They said it was clearly Minister Yadav who had reacted badly to the tough questions from the host, after which the tension escalated.

Where will the ego of ministers like these take Nepal? Why such a fuss over a simple question?

A journalist’s job is to quiz ministers on behalf of the public. It can be straightforward or complicated, there is no reason for flattery. He was incapable of answering and showed his true colours by leaving. He might have been furious over having to consider Baburam as Chair and could not handle public criticism.

So I guess leaders are free to be undisciplined. It looks like the tension arose after Yadav warned the host not to talk nonsense. Good manners apply to everyone.

To understand who is guilty and who is innocent let us try to be neutral. If ministers and people in high positions cannot be questioned, what is the need for journalism?

It was right of the journalist to ask the minister what can his party deliver to the people. He couldn’t answer and got angry instead.

Other commentators blamed both the minister and the journalist.

The journalist is simply after ratings (TRP). There should be a difference between the people and a leader. The leader is agitated, but the journalist totally let himself go. Both are wrong. Upendra was the one responsible for the situation. Sushil is behaving like he always does.

binod giri 🇳🇵 🇳🇵 🇳🇵 @binodgiri993

I was watching this show live. It was the minister who first told the journalist not to talk nonsense. As for the reporter’s way of asking questions, that is the way he is no matter how important the studio guest.  

If political leaders had fulfilled their promises, maybe journalists would not be so rude?

Rajendra Dahal @RDahal62

The Communication Ministry should invest in training and educating journalists like these and giving them exposure, not intimidate and reprimand them.

Ram Rawal @rawalram

There is no sense in reproaching the journalist alone for this 'nonsense' and 'Get out’  row. This incident clearly shows the state's lack of investment on human resource. Let us investigate why professional people either do not enter or last in the media field.  

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