Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Rock on journalistic freedom in Nepal! I think this is the coolest nonviolent social protest statement I have seen in a long time.
The Media Society and Editors' Alliance of Nepal, in a released statement, has strongly condemned the attack by Maoist workers on Himalmedia, and launched a protest program beginning with blank editorials in all member newspapers, television and radio news programs on Tuesday.
In a very public response to the Maoist-affiliated union member attacks on Himal Media offices and staff yesterday, the major newspapers published blank editorials as a symbol of the attempt to stamp out journalistic freedom.
The protest editorials appeared Tuesday in the Annapurna Post, The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post, Kantipur, Nepal Samacharpatra, Rajdhani, Himalaya Times, Image Channel TV, Image News FM, Nepal, Kantipur TV, Kantipur FM, myrepublica.com, dainikee.com, e-Kantipur, Newsfront, Nepali Times and Himal Khabarpatrika.
The respondents issued a statement: "This is the first in a series of escalating protests that our media companies will launch if the current organised attacks on us by groups affiliated to the ruling party are not stopped immediately...We feel the attack on Himalmedia and other media houses represent a serious threat to press freedom, democracy and pluralism in this country, and it is ironical that it should be perpetrated by a group affiliated to a party that won the election and leads the government."
The raid on Himalmedia on Sunday, in which 12 people were injured, was the latest in a series of attacks and threats against newspapers, tv stations and radio all over the country in the past.