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#Saptari killings: An act of Human Rights Violation

The Nepal Government has announced the killing of 5 Madeshi Morcha activists during the Saptari an unfortunate incident and has declared...

Press Freedom Marginalized in Nepal


The new Media council Bill which is currently under review of the parliament has been hugely criticized by the civil society group regarding threatening press freedom in Nepal. The Media Council bill aims to replace the existing Press Council Act, with more authoritative and concrete action against errors and mistakes.

It seems funny that every time a new bill or law comes out there is a huge outrage from the civil society that strives to find solution for existence of basic rights. Likewise, the new Media Council Bill proposed  by the secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication has been hugely challenged by the press freedom experts and civil society group.

The question that arises here is what is the main cause that every time a policy or law is subsequently ready for practice there is a huge voice that comes from the civil society fighting back against safeguarding their rights.

The problem that lies here is the policy making process and how it is kept secret and hidden with assumption and condition. The overall public policy process is facilitated in a limited approach of very limited so called experts. This results  more towards rigidity of limited few so called experts and parliamentary leaders who have no idea and repercussion of the law or policy. This shows the lack of visibility, transparency, openness and accountability.  Apart from that what amazes is these policies and laws are not based on any types of surveys or research either its recommended by an INGO or political leader who have limited knowledge.

Some of the challenges of public policy process of Nepal are listed below 

1. Limited knowledge and lack of expertise
2. Lack of accountability
3. Lack of openness and transparency
4. Lack of democratic values
5. Lack of Research and survey
6. Limitation of understanding
7. Lack of collaboration 


The currently bill has a limited approach and escapes the responsibility and credibility factor of the media council. Similarly, the bill also secures the provision of the council members to be sacked by the government at any point of time.

Some challenges  of Media Council Bill 2019  are

Section 18 (1) recommends  a fine from 25000 to Rs 1 million on media outlets, editors, publishers and journalists  if found guilty of damaging someone’s reputation.
Section 18, Sub-section (2) states that the council can order the erring parties to pay compensation if the content in media damages the reputation of the affected party.
Section 17 of the bill proposes to suspend press pass of media persons and downgrade the classification of the concerned print media outlet for violating the code of conduct
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