Friday, August 29, 2008

One of the positive things I noticed while visiting Nepal was the large number of newspapers, websites and blogs writing and publishing open critique of the events as they unfolded. People openly discussed their opinions about the waning days of the monarchy, the government in transition, and the effect on the people. Freedom of the press is a hallmark of participatory government, or dare I say, democracy.

Now, less than a few days following the swearing in of the Prime Minister, Maoist leader Prachanda, a major new publishing company has been formed. The new company, the Nhu Republic Media, will bring out Nhu Nepal, Nepali daily, and the New Republic, English daily in about three months.The new company plans to pump 400 million rupees into the economy over the next five years.

The company is being formed by editors who recently resigned from Kantipur Publications.

The editor of the Nepali daily will be Narayan Wagle (author of the award-winning fiction Palpasa's Cafe) who resigned from the editorship of Kantipur, Nepal’s largest daily, a few days ago. The editor of the English daily will be Ameet Dhakal who resigned from the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s prominent English daily, a few days ago.

The editors wished success of Kantipur terming that as “the best newsroom in the country”. They said they wanted a strong and vibrant newspaper in Kantipur so that they could compete with a strong team and paper. They said they will be focusing mainly in the Kathmandu markets in the beginning- at least the first year- and go outside valley depending on how they perform in Kathmandu.

“We will be driven by journalistic principles,” he said and said that commercial priorities would be second to the newspapers.

Wow, putting journalistic principles over making money? America, are you listening?


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