Khulja... Journalism In Morang


By Jagadish Pokhrel

PRADHAN is a poet of note, as is evident from the foreword to half a century of Journalism in Morang. Balkrishna Pokhrel, the remowned man of letters and Nepali language, sets a tone something like this- here is this poetic talent who has brought out a brilliant book on journalism yati gatilo, yati anushahit, yati anushashit. Yati bahuaayamik. Yati sangopangokriy'' are the adjectives pokhrel lavishly uses to distinguish this ''nalibeli'' and says no other'' such account has been '' written so far'' on journalism in Morang. The book is a khuljare sim formula to find a mine of related materiafs pradhan's guru says in his charged literary foreword. The rest of the book is all journalism and no (...) in simple and lucid Nepali, Pradhan details the efforts expended in Morang to develop professional journalism but with achievements far below his expections. The author introduces himsef in the preface saying that he took up journalism 30 years ago. Is first article on journalism in Morang appeared 24 years ago. that was when he began to prepare an index of newspapers. Bulletins and souvenirs published in that district.

Pradhan borrows from author Bijaya Chalise as he cuts up journalism in Nepal into five phases that correspond with major political developments of the country. He makes some sweeping generalizations about the growth, the pattens, the high points and the pitfalls of various news outlets, ranging from the old to the new media. ''Starting from the Gorkhapatra, published 104 years within the country. That is the larger context againssil' which he agrees with press council to mean districts outside of Kathmandu valley. It is there he finds Morang as a highly active' district where hand when newspapers appeared as an important and evolutionary event even during the Rana time before 2007 B.S. The author separates news journalism from literary/ other journalism and deals with both in extensive details. The core chapters discuss the subject matter in four phases. Before the beginning of the panchayat system, during the panchayat regime until the referendum, from referendum till the popular movement, and from that time until now. Every phase ends with the author's conclusion. Sometimes too bold to be taken for granted. '' The second phase of Morang's journalism is seen to be free from such aberations and inconsistencies as are found today, when journalism has become a begging bowl, ''Pradhan asserts. The author gives every newspaper, daily or weekly, a bold yet beautiful qualifier - such as, Himalchuli: Distinctive Image, Supporters of Popular Movement: Biratnagar Times and Purbako Awaaj, Closed when young. Purbanchal Khabar, Good Beginning, Sed Ending: Birat National Times, and Shrunk under Lone Initiative Drishatanta. He puts papers into two classes- the market-oriented and the self- employment oriented. ''In fact, most papers in Morang are not brought out for, the readers, neither do they aim to inform the public, ''he writes. ''These papers are meant for self-employment, they have no other aims or objective.'' Evaluative statements are interspersed throughout the book, which otherwise is a very authoritative and well-researched document. A lot of footnotes, an excellent bibliography and important listings of many things from facts about Morang to the gists of first editorials, from newspapers to souvenirs, and from awards to decisions of workshops give the book the air of authenticity.  The indexing is comprehensive but not the indexing is comper bur not complete. Forexample. Science Forun, a souvenir like Science Spectrum, is missing from the listing. The analysis of problems revolve around the nature of investment and management of different newspapers: the qulincations and conducts of the people involved; of news and other materials; the techmical capabilities; the advertisements; the lack of prctessional and institutional initiatives; the prctessional and institutional initiatives; the professional skills; the lack of unity among the joumalists; and the lack of access to information and the cost of communication technology. When problems on so many fronts compound the district of Morang the '' political, economic, educational and caltural forerunner, finds its journalism just short of a complete mess. Still, the author sees prosaects, because Morang is at the center of the entire eastem region. The need: a profession paper. What makes it? Collective thinking and investment, professional business and editoria. Management updated knowledge of the subject matter/ skill, and technology, purification of conduct, and shedding. By journalists of the inferiority complex while learning from juniors or of the egoistic. I-know-everything attiude.’’ Morang journalists would do well to heed pradhan's advice. Except for sx and a half ’’ years, Pradhan has lived in Morang which afforded him '' an opportunity to look at’’ journalism there from ''extremely close quarters.’’ That is why Martin Chautari offered to publish Pradhan's assessment twentieth in their series, using some funding for editing from DANIDA/HUGOU and all publisning costs from Buddha Air Pvt.Ltd. The publlshers wanted the book to promote writing and debate about the regional media in Nepal. The author has done the publishers proud.


Source: The Rising Nepal, December 10, 2004 Friday supplement,

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