Kathmandu, Sept 2, 2019:
Nepali Congress (NC), the major opposition party, has registered a 19-point amendment proposal on the Media Council Bill presented in the National Assembly (NA).
The proposal has been registered by NC’s parliamentarians elected to the NA, Sarita Prasai, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Dhankumari Khatiwada, Anita Devkota and Prakash Panth.
The proposal has it that the candidates to be appointed Chairman of the Council should possess qualification requiring to be Justice of the Supreme Court, have more than 25 years of experiences in journalism and should be above 45 years in age.
The NC has also offered recommendations to include two parliamentarians, at least one woman, ensuring participation of major opposition party nominated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one parliamentarian nominated by the NA, President of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, one professor and association professors of mass communication and journalism of the Universities as recommended by the government.
The proposal also suggest that the Council should have a 21-member committee comprising seven editors from seven provinces with more than 7 years of experiences, three journalists with one woman compulsorily with 20 years of experience in journalism and the like.
In the amendment proposal, NC has suggested to rephrase the ‘imposing fine between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 million on media outlets, publishers and journalists publishing the contents in contravention of the code of conduct or defaming contents.
The proposal instead seeks apologies in public from the erring publishers, media houses and journalists and blacklisting them.
The amendment proposal suggests that the Chief Justice of Supreme Court should administer the oath of office to the Council’s Chairperson while Council’s members should be administered the oath of office by the Council’s Chairperson. ‘