Reporter with Kantipur daily, Anish Tiwari, was manhandled by local level representatives while reporting at Sindhupalchowk on July 19. Sindhupalchowk is a neighbouring district to Kathmandu and lies in Province 3 of Nepal.
Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Anish Tiwari shared, "I was at a program organized by Rural Women Creative Family at the office of Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality. During the program, municipality's elected member Ram Man Singh shouted at me saying 'without writing news what I was looking at.' I answered that he should not teach me anything as I was working in journalism for some years."
He further said, "Again, Bhotekoshi's rural municipal chief Dipendra Kumar Shrestha accused all the journalists including me of writing news by taking bribes. Again I replied him that he could not blame all the journalists on the basis of some foul cases. Then he again shouted,"Ok, I will see what you will write in the news and spoke foul on me."
However, other leaders apologized to me on their behalf, informed Tiwari.
Freedom Forum condemns such behavior of an elected member with journalists. Local level representatives should be responsible and accountable towards media freedom and citizen's right to information. Speaking foul on reporters not only discourages them but also create atmosphere for them to practice self-censorship, which is against press freedom.
Freedom Forum strongly urges the concerned representatives to be aware of the media role to boost freedom of expression and information in a democracy.
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