Wednesday Nov 29, 2023
Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

FNJ body urges government to improve working journalists' rights

2023 Apr 22, 13:26,
Representative Image.

The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Pratisthan Pradesh has urged the government to take prompt measures for improving the rights of working journalists.

The delegation led by Pratisthan Chair Bal Krishna Adhikari on Friday called on Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, and apprised her of issues facing working journalists in Nepali media.

The team advised the government to make the provision of connecting media houses to the Social Security Fund mandatory and legally binding.

During the meeting held at the Singha Durbar, the delegation apprised the Minister of various challenges for job security facing working journalists. "Working journalists are largely subjugated to non-payment, underpayment, and the lack of timely payment. Lately some media have started sending journalists to home citing the economic crisis. Similarly, only a handful of media have guaranteed journalists' access to the Social Security Fund. Majority of working journalists are neither connected to the SSF nor Citizen Investment Trust nor the Employees Provident Fund," the delegation briefed the line minister.

The delegation also insisted on the need of formulating required communications laws promptly and revising the old ones with the full guarantee of the freedom of the Press. "Press-friendly laws are needed," it asserted.

The delegation reminded the government that journalists were always on the frontline against any attempts to weaken the democratic system.

In response, the Minister said the government was making efforts to implement a one-door policy for advertising and to prevent a revenue leakage in the government advertisements. She underlined the need to discourage the invasion of middle persons in the business. Citing 80-90 percent discount in government advertisements and its undue benefit for middle persons, she said media houses would get a due benefit from advertising if such unethical practice could be prevented and this would ultimately help address economic issues in media to some extent and promote the rights of working journalists.

The Minister also urged the FNJ to give space to working and real journalists to make the journalism profession decent and well-managed.

"The government is in the process of making laws relating to the communications sector and it is not in favor of any laws capable of hurting the principles of the free Press and the freedom of opinion and expression. The government will consult and discuss with the FNJ on the matter," the Minister said.

FNJ journalists Rekha Sharma Nepali media Singha Durbar Social Security Fund government
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