Nepalnews gets Courageous Journalism Award
IPI national chapter recognises site’s advancement of online news
KATHMANDU, May 14, 2014 - Nepalnews, which helped set the pace for online news in Nepal, is this year’s recipient of the Courageous Journalism Award given by the International Press Institute's Nepal Chapter and Freedom Forum.
The English-language news portal was honoured on May 2, ahead of World Press Freedom Day, in recognition of its early role in developing the online media in the country. The news site is owned by Mercantile Communications.
The Courageous Journalism Award was established jointly by the IPI Nepal Chapter and Freedom Forum, a local press freedom organisation. This year’s award was presented to Mercantile Communications Chief Executive Officer Sanjeev Rajbhandari by Minendra Rijal, Nepal’s minister for Information and Communications.
Mercantile Communications was the first to introduce Internet and online journalism in Nepal despite the country’s limited technology. It has been running Nepalnews since 1998, contributing to the advancement of Nepali journalism.
Speaking at the award’s ceremony, IPI Nepal Chapter Chairman Padam Singh Karki said online media were gaining pace in Nepal, and the honour to the Nepalnews portal was a recognition of online media’s contribution to journalism.
Freedom Forum Chairman Taranath Dahal lamented that the government was not even delivering a message on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day. "Relative political stability helped reduce press freedom violations this year in Nepal. However, a proper policy for media democratisation and encompassing of new media was needed,” he said.
Also addressing the programme, Rijal said freedom and development are interrelated, adding that the more the news is credible the more it gains public trust. Gopinath Mainali, joint secretary at the National Planning Commission, said that freedom of expression and the press could be a strategic tool for development.
Past recipients of the Courageous Journalism Award include Govinda KC, a Dailekh-based journalist with the daily Nagarik, in 2013; and in 2012, Rajesh KC, formerly an editorial cartoonist for the Nagarik and Republica dailies, who was recently appointed editor of the dailies’ online editions, myrepublica.com and nagariknews.com.