A pioneering base-line study ‘Assessment of Media Development in Nepal’ was launched in Lalitpur on Thursday. This study, prepared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), provides comprehensive material to analyse the country’s media landscape.
“The assessment of Nepal’s media landscape is intended to accompany the country in its democratic transition and to foster free, independent and pluralist media,” UNESCO Representative to Nepal Axel Plathe said as he launched the report.
Using a multifaceted system of indicators, the study assesses Nepal’s print, broadcast and online media under five categories. It focuses on media regulations, the plurality and diversity of media, the potential of media to provide a platform for democratic discourse, professional capacity building and infrastructural capacity.
The study was undertaken between 2011 and 2013. Its preparation was coordinated by a team of national experts. It builds on analysis and suggestions made by representatives of government, media trade unions, professional associations and civil society.
Applying the diagnostic instrument of UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDI), the study presents discussions on constitutional and legal reforms and media self-regulation mechanisms. It is intended to guide the efforts of all actors working for media development.
At the launch, chairperson of Press Council Nepal, Borna Bahadur Karki, said that this study will be useful for the betterment of the Nepali media.
The five chapters in the report deal with legal and policy frameworks relating to the media, existing media laws and regulations in Nepal and their compliance with international standards. The report attempts to analyse the capacity of Nepal’s media to serve as a platform for democratic discourse and focuses on professional capacity building and supporting institutions that underpin freedom of expression. It also examines whether the infrastructural capacity in Nepal is sufficient to support independent and pluralistic media.
Nepal has become the 11th country among UNESCO’s 195 members states to complete the MDI assessment. Media policy makers, academicians, journalists and government officials were present at the program.