Thursday, April 7, 2005

Press: Support King or Die

It is what the King's government is saying to the press. Like every undemocratic ruler, the King can't tolerate any criticism and has said 'there would be no state advertisement for the newspaper that does not support the nation and crown.'

This is a big blow of small newspaper, especially weeklies which are more vibrant in criticizing the government.' Most of them run on small investment and don't have sales or advertisement to support them fully. The government used to provide ads to them according to their classification performed by government agency. It was of a great support for them.

A weekly, Jana Astha, published a main story revealing the new circular by the government asking all the government offices not to provide ads to newspaper other than those run by state. They published the circular and it went wide - dailies and other paper carried the news. And minister for communication and information Tanka Dhakal had to speak about it (two weeks after the decision).

"We are seriously thinking of giving incentives to those media working for the nation and the crown, so we have stopped giving ads to the private media temporarily," Dhakal said in a press conference.

All this comes after the media censorship that still prohibits newspaper to write freely.

And the authority is also following a double standard about news of the rebels - Maoists. The army Directorate of Public Relations is issuing daily dispatches about the death of the rebels and their surrenders, but are prohibiting media even to write a word not included in the dispatches. The authority in Pokhara summoned three reporters for reporting the torching to seven vehicles by the rebels (while the government, before the news was published, decided to compensate the vehicle owners).

This is a clear message by the King to the press: either support me or you will be left to die.

Related Headline:
The Kathmandu Post: No govt ads to private media: MoIC

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