The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has decided to urge the center, province and the local levels to devise press freedom-friendly laws.
A central committee meeting of the FNJ held on August 8 and 9 and chaired by its president Govinda Acharya took a decision to this effect as well as giving policy uniformity to mass media-related laws.
FNJ general secretary Ramesh Bista said the meeting decided to demand with the governments at all the three levels to ensure the formulation of press freedom-friendly laws.
According to him, the meeting has also demanded formulating special protection laws for journalists and mass media so as to ensure the full freedom of the press guaranteed by the constitution.
The FNJ central committee decided to move ahead in an effective manner based on the policy priority and plan of action along with press freedom and freedom of expression and the full implementation of the Working Journalists Act which the FNJ passed from its Dhulikhel and Janakpur meetings.
The meeting also called for implementing the model Mass Communication Act drafted by the FNJ for ensuring press freedom and freedom of expression and also for the immediate execution of the Working Journalists Act promptly increasing the minimum wage fixed by the Minimum Wage Fixation Committee.
Likewise, the umbrella organization of Nepali journalists has decided to demand with the government to make some provisions in the Country (Criminal) Code 2074 and the Country (Civil) Code 2074 congenial to the press as these provisions were against the press freedom and the freedom of expression.
It has called for minimizing the incidents of violation of press freedom and taking action against those involved in such incidents citing that 59 incidents of violations of press freedom had taken place and 90 journalists and media houses suffered from this in a year’s time.
The FNJ has also demanded that the government immediately implement in an effective manner all kinds of social security programs and the health insurance for journalists including 50 per cent concession to the journalists in health services.
Directive to convene general assembly within December 1, 2018
The FNJ has directed the branches under it to conduct their general assembly within December 1. General secretary Bista said that the meeting gave instruction requiring that the general assembly of all the FNJ branches should be held from August 17 to December 1, 2018.
The FNJ central committee has pledged to organize ‘journalist code of conduct awareness program’ throughout the country for promoting professional integrity and responsible journalism.
It has also made decision to take initiatives for making the necessary arrangements for the living of senior journalists and journalists with disabilities as well as for the development and protection of media with small investment and self-employment.