The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) participated in a five-day International Media Mission to Nepal, with a representative of the IFJ-sponsored South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and several other international organisations engaged in press freedom campaign and advocacy work.
The Mission reviewed the status of press freedom under Nepal’s new political order, met with key members of the government and the media community, and made an urgent call for hastening the process of writing the new republican constitution, incorporating strong protections for freedom of speech and expression.
The Mission underlined the need for addressing the crisis of livelihoods among Nepal’s journalists, in part by improving the coverage and implementation of the Working Journalists’ Act, as adopted in 1993 and amended in 2006.
Mission members also visited the two district towns of Biratnagar (Morang district) and Janakpur (Dhanusha district) in the southern plains of Nepal, where recent political conflicts have posed fresh hazards and challenges for journalism.
The Mission met with the Prime Minister and Home Minister of Nepal, the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly and leaders of the main political parties, aside from senior editors, journalists and civil society actors.
The Federation of Nepali Journalists, an IFJ-affiliate, hosted the Mission, which concluded with an agreed joint declaration on February 27.
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