Demise of two media personalities

Vinaya Kasajoo

Right to Information activist and community media proponent Vinaya Kasajoo died on 26 November in Kathmandu at age 72. Kasajoo devoted his career to transparency and accountability in government through a free press.

Starting his career in Madan Pokhara of Palpa, he was a pioneer of community radio and rural communications for development. It was in recognition of his contribution that the government appointed him founding chair of the National Information Commission, where he pushed for greater transparency in government via freedom of information. This set a historic precedent for others to use this provision. He also served for a time as director of the National News Agency (RSS).

In later years, Kasajoo became known as a writer of children’s literature, both translating English works into Nepali and writing 50 of his own books.

He died of pneumonia at Mediciti Hospital.

Photo: VINAYA KASAJOO/ FACEBOOK

Binaya Gurubacharya

Nepal correspondent of the US-based Associated Press news agency for nearly four decades, Binaya Gurubacharya died last week in Kathmandu.

Photo: BINAYA GURUBACHARYA/ FACEBOOK

Gurubacharya covered most of the landmark events in recent Nepali history for the world through AP, from King Mahendra’s coup in 1960, the coronation of King Birendra, the 1980 referendum, the royal massacre of 2001 and the Maoist conflict. He was also on the frontlines of coverage of mountaineering expeditions in the Nepal Himalaya, and served as Kathmandu correspondent of the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.

Gurubacharya was a founding member, and president for a time, of the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ). NEFEJ used the freedoms after 1990 to not just push environmental activism over issues like the Chobar Cement Factory and Arun III, but also to open up space for media coverage of other political and economic matters.
Gurubacharya was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Read Also: Miyahara-san: a life devoted to Nepal, Kunda Dixit 

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