DECEMBER 25, 2008 Freedom Forum brought together working journalists, government officials, media owners, media experts and representatives of media unions at a daylong thematic workshop on ‘Status of Implementation of Working Journalist Law” in the capital on December 25, Thursday. The Forum organized this workshop in association with ARTICLE 19 and Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) with the view to holding tripartite discussion among working journalists, management and respective government officials in the context when the issue of professional security of working journalists, employees and workers serving with Nepali media and journalism sector has been relegated to the backburner.
Even after the restoration of democracy and implementation of democratic republic in Nepal, journalists and media workers who were in the forefront in the struggle for democracy and press freedom movement in the past have not witnessed any substantial changes in their situation.
However, timely changes and reforms have been made in Working Journalist Act, but its regulation has not yet amended in accordance with the Act. The State and government have turned deaf ear towards the responsibility of developing necessary monitoring and regulatory mechanisms and initiatives specified by the Act. Likewise, media management has also remained indifferent to discharge their duty as indicated by the Act. The situation is that the government has not even followed the mandamus of Supreme Court to constitute a body to regulate and monitor the implementation of Act.
Keeping this context in centre, the workshop discussed major issues including the appointment of Press Registrar, implementation of minimum wage determination committee report, on-going conflict between media management and trade unionists, government draft of first amendment of working journalist regulation among others amid a gathering of stakeholders.
At the workshop, Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal presented a paper on “Implementation of Working Journalist Laws; Regulations in the Web of Amendment” on which journalist Bindu Kanta Ghimire and Under Secretary at Ministry of Law, Rajendra Nepal rendered comment. The discussion was centralized on the working paper.
Some 40 stakeholders took part in the workshop.
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