State owned Nepal Television has shut down a talk show and terminated contract with the talk show host Journalist Raju Thapa for asking critical question to the Communication and Information Technology Minister Gokul Baskota.
Thapa had been running talk show 'Sidha Prasna' (direct question) at the government owned Television for last 12 years, since the democracy was reinstated ousting the direct rule of the King through people's movement.
Journalist Raju Thapa shared with Freedom Forum’s Province-3 representative Ashok Dahal "News chief of the TV informed me on June 12 that they are unable to air my talk further following the pressure from the minister over my questions to him during the live talk show on May 26,”.
According to the journalist, the television informed him that his talk show was shut following the instruction from the minister Baskota. He had the contract with the television for hosting weekly talk show until Mid July, which could be renewed for the next fiscal year.
"The minister dominated the staffs of the television upon his arrival for the talk show. He started misbehaving me from the very beginning of the interview, though I tried to ask the question from soft corner," explained representative Dahal quoting journalist Thapa.
According to the journalist, the minister was irked with him for questioning critical question in the state-run television under his own ministry. Various social media users have vented ire against the government and the minister for exhibiting autocratic tendency.
Thapa has posted on his Facebook page that the act of the minister has exposed the government approach of controlling media and journalist and freedom of the press in Nepal. He has also urged the concerned stakeholders to evaluate the incident similar to the autocratic move of the government.
Freedom Forum is concerned about the incident as it is the sheer violation of press freedom. Law maker’s intimidation to media person and the media house is intolerable.
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