Journalism’s role vital to materialize prosperity: President Bhandari

Kathmandu, May 7: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said the journalism sector should be committed to helping the national journey to prosperity in view of the country making headway to political stability, stable peace and financial development.

At a programme organized to honour and confer award on journalists on the occasion of the National Journalism Day 2076 at her residence, Sheetal Niwas, today, President Bhandari reminded that the constitution has fully guaranteed the press freedom. Press freedom helps strengthen democracy, so responsible journalism would play role to materialize press freedom.

At the programme organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the President further said journalism had contributed tremendously for social awareness, human rights and democratic system. “Democracy and responsible journalism have inseparable relations. In the absence one, another cannot function well,” she underscored.

According to her, the State mechanism was committed to promoting tourism and modernization of agriculture. Industrialization, employment creation and self entrepreneurship were also in priority. “It is moral duty of media to relay good news of socioeconomic sectors to the people. It is however a bitter reality that the country is yet to be free from social ills. Now, with the country making headway to socialism based on social justice and equality, the social ill will gradually decline,” the President underscored.

Moreover, she mentioned that new culture will be set up with socioeconomic development. The honour and awards to noted personality in journalism would help make harmonious relations between the State and media.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Banskota said government was planning to bring new laws on media by addressing the professional integrity, and editorial independence to ensure golden age of press. Democracy is the foundational system in Nepal. Government accepts the criticisms made in media, he added.

According to him, a system would be developed to make press formulate its code in view of its readers/audience, and make public its analytical description every six months.

Ministry Secretary Mahendraman Gurung also said government was for responsible and free press. On the occasion, Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Govind Acharya, viewed that media could also contribute to country’s prosperity and development.

Awards

Senior journalists Badri Binod Pratik and Tirtha Koirala were honoured with Senior Journalists Award carrying the purse of Rs 200,000 each, while the National Journalism Award was provided to Nirmala Sharma, Khil Bahadur Bhandari, Madhav Bidrohi, Umid Bagchand, Danda Gurung and Mala Kumari Karna. The Award carries a purse of Rs 100,000 each.

The government marked the national journalism day with slogan- ‘Responsible Media: Foundation of Democracy’. The day was announced on the date the oldest newspaper-Gorkhapatra daily- was first published.

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