President Bhandari opens FNJ assembly, calls for dignified media

Chitwan, May 3: President Bidya Devi Bhandari has said that the media sector had a major responsibility for the social and economic change in the country.

Inaugurating the general assembly of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) here today, President Bhandari said that the media has the responsibility of protecting the provision of the constitution and changing the society for the betterment and the progress as the fourth estate of the state.

She added that the media persons including the incumbent FNJ team had shown their maturity in the run up to issuing the new constitution.

She further said that the media has the rights to comment the arbitrary performance of the government and the state as well as the responsibility to disseminate the positive deeds of both, side by side.

President Bhandari noted the provision of the free press was ensured in the preamble of the constitution and therefore none could infringe it.

She even opined for a dignified press, adding that the media was growing in the country in number and quality as well.

President Bhandari said, "The strong, vigorous and free media is the guardian of the country's overall interest."

On the one hand the government and media houses must have positive attitude toward working journalists' allowance and facility, President Bhandari said while adding that the journalists should remain alert and conscious towards religious, cultural and ethnic harmony by protecting the country's integrity, sovereignty, national interest and honour.

She argued that the Nepali media fraternity should keep in mind the necessities of the people and contribute in development works. The press is a powerful medium of raising awareness so it must work vigorously in broaching ideas to resolve country's economic problems and flaws in education, health and fend off climate change impact, the President observed.

President Bhandari further said that the journalists' focus should also go towards the sensitivity of justice and equality to end violence along with the campaign against corruption and irregularities.

She said the media fraternity must also make utmost use of modern technology so as to emphasize its effectiveness.

Minister for Industry, Som Prasad Pandey, who is also overseeing the responsibility of the Ministry of Information and Communications, termed Nepal's Constitution as a milestone for enhancing the clout of the media fraternity. He urged the journalists to use their pens for economic prosperity.

Nepal's Constitution is one of the best in the world, Minister Pandey stressed, and reminded that the constitution's preamble has mentioned the term 'full press freedom' attesting to the fact that it was press-friendly.

He shared that the government was planning on opening industries in the country to provide employment to a million youths in the next decade.

At the programme, Press Council Chairman, Borna Bahadur Karki, spoke of the contribution the Council had made in the development of journalism sector and pledged to work for upgrading Nepal's journalism in future.

Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) former President, Harihar Birahi, said the media fraternity was at the centre of civilians' hope and reliance.

FNJ President, Dr Mahendra Bista, said the journalists' umbrella organization has been playing its role for ending impunity and censorship. He added that the general assembly was important as it would also amend the statute.

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