Freedom Forum has been concerned over the violation of editorial independence in a community radio Damauli FM 94.2. The FM is in Tanahu, a hilly district in the western region of Nepal.
The Board of Directors of the FM demoted Pradeep Kaphle, News Chief of the FM since its establishment four years back, to a news reader by clipping his responsibilities merely because he aired an interview of a person elected as chairperson of the teacher's association from out of the faction disloyal to the Board of Directors.
The news of demotion has come to light after a month now.
Now, Mr Kaphle needs permission from director for selecting news for airing as he can not edit the news as he did in the past.
It has not only devalued the morale of journalist Kaphle but also violated the editorial independence.
The violation of editorial independence is the violation of freedom of expression.
The shrinking in editorial independence by airing the views and news of the people or incidents in favour of the Board of Directors would obviously curtail the freedom of expression and make the radio authoritative. It is against the democratic norms.
Freedom Forum therefore concludes that the decision to demote News Chief Kaphle is baseless. So, he needs restoration as the News Chief without infringing upon his responsibilities.
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