Nepali society is in the process of metamorphosing. The media would be fooling itself if it tried to ignore this and get away without engaging in self- evaluation, assessment and reform. However, some Nepali media houses are not embracing the change. It's perfectly acceptable for a paper to show partiality to a certain ideology or governance. A paper's editorial may empathise with a certain party, but when it comes to issues of national responsibility, the media should unite. The press plays an important part in setting out national goals. Civil society may strengthen internal unity, but the media gives a sense of national consensus and nationalism. The media has a large role to play in strengthening the country so that outside forces don't have the power to intervene.
Issues such as the government's commitment to a Federal Democratic Republic, a logical conclusion to the peace process and the drafting of the constitution must receive most media attention at present. Not the personal lives of a few political personalities. Some papers try to divert attention away from these central issues with trivia. Nepali media can't limit itself to mere preaching without thought. It must not only decide which issues take centre stage in media coverage, but assess and question its own code of conduct and ethics. Discourse in the press cannot be without boundaries or accountability.
(Peter is a consultant to the Ministry of Information and Comunications)