Freedom Forum has been seriously concerned over Press Council Nepal’s plan to conduct license exams for the journalists.
It is quite ridiculous to make one appear exam by the Press Council, a State body, to be journalists, because the qualification tests of journalists can be conducted by the concerned media houses. It’s the media house’s right to determine what sort of human resources is required for it.
As the Council is the State-run body, it is highly likely that only those favouring government can be journalists which is fully against the freedom of expression principles and practices.
Journalism is related to creativity and expression. Setting standard for anyone to enter this field is quite undemocratic effort.
Of course, the quality journalism is the need of hour. But taking exam for journalists does not ensure quality but restricts many to be journalists and flatly violates citizen’s freedom of expression.
“Instead of holding exams, trainings and orientations to journalists can be encouraged to boost quality and professionalism. Therefore, restricting people’s entry to journalism does not suit democratic principle but serve authoritarian mindset,” observes Taranath Dahal, Chairperson, Freedom Forum.
There is already a bad practice that accreditation card to journalists is issued by the Department of Information run by the State.
Similarly, before eight years, the Supreme Court had issued an order to see the rights of journalists by establishing separate office of press registratar, which however is not implemented yet by the government.
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