Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Unethical media



The news media are being targeted by state or political players, and is criticised for being politically biased. What is overlooked in these discussions is the important notion of 'ethics'. The only people to stand up for media ethics have been victims of the media's lack of ethics.

Renowned neurosurgeon Upendra Devkota recently drew attention to the issue of media ethics. A month ago, his 15-year-old daughter was kidnapped. Fortunately, the family was able to get her home after paying a ransom. As a responsible citizen, Devkota assisted the police in arresting the kidnappers, and called for a campaign to promote media ethics. He accused a particular publishing house of 'criminal journalism' by publicising his daughter's name.

If the media had a sense of business morality, they should have made a public apology to Devkota. Unfortunately, they didn't. Devkota went public because he did not want any other parents to suffer the way his family did. It might be possible that under his leadership, not just as a victim but as a campaigner, this issue will be able to attract the attention it deserves.

Devkota's fury was understandable. In delicate situations which involve children or raped women, media ethics demand that they should not be named. The Nepali media need more self-monitoring because it would be regrettable if they were perceived to be irresponsible and insensitive. The named publishing house should heed Devkota's advice, and view his suggestions positively. It would consequently raise people's respect and trust for the media.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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