Information and Communications Minister Kamal Thapa has accused the Nepali media of panicking the public and taking press freedom for granted. He has urged media not to cover news that would terrorise the public. Sure, it is unethical to report news that sows fear and sensationalises. But the government should also look at how media has helped to boost public morale. Each individual has subjective views, but in a democratic country, the media is not subject to government control over what and how news should be presented. Journalists are also accountable and it will be detrimental if they misuse the power of press freedom.
It is unreasonable to say that the media is exaggerating reports of human rights abuses by the Maoists and security forces. The bombing of a bus and the blockade by Maoists deserve to be made public. The story of the Bhojpur attack needed to be told. It is a clich? to say that "anything can happen during a war." One thing is for sure: there is more press freedom today than ever before and we owe this to the evolution of democracy in this country. The Nepali media is aware of its public service role, but the minister's statement is biased and he is blaming the messenger for the bad news.