Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Maoist media policy


The Maoists have decided on a two-pronged strategy to make the media speak in their favour: inveigle, if not intervene.

The preliminary draft of the party's national media policy has advocated a strategy of neutralising its critics and transferring media ownership to the hands of its sympathisers. The internal meeting of the party's Publicity and Publication Department of the State Committee has categorised media based on ownership: government run, party run and privately run. Based on contents, they are: pro-party, neutral and antagonistic media. The meeting also proposed the establishment of a "pro-public" daily newspaper and television channel as well as a media mechanism at the South Asian level.

A five-page long draft policy has suggested a strategy to have more favourable coverage and to bring the media into the Maoist fold. It has proposed separate regulations for print, audio and visual media. Dinanath Sharma, head of the Publicity and Publication Department, in a joint meeting with Pushpa Kamal Dahal and representatives of "revolutionary" journalists, proposed a central publication house in public-private partnership.

Under the heading of 'publication house', sub-clause of Clause 11 says the party's publication department should look after editorials while the opinion pieces should be monitored by the publication house. Article 12.2 says specifically that 'initiatives should be taken to make ABC, Sagarmatha and Avenues television pro-Maoist'.

Clause 6.1 on Policy on Government Media, says 'efforts should be put to exploit government media to their benefit' and recommend training and mobilisation through the Revolutionary Journalists' Association. The same clause however has mentioned the need to 'establish rights as per democratic norms' and warns those who go against these norms 'should be dealt with'.

The policy recommends a good relationship with media staff rather than the owners. The paper states the quality, trend and content of the media will be closely monitored and 'negative aspects' should be dealt with on political and theoretical fronts. It has also proposed all media (print and radio) be run under a single roof to operate radio and cable TV in the regions and districts.

1. Norbu Ghaley
The Nepalese Maoist are copy cats which is more than fifty years old, the maoist principle and ideology are completely out dated, it will not fit and work in this 21st century society and it's social net working. Maoist media policy is all about singing sweet songs in the name of Prachanda and praising his bloody paths and than shouting slogans favorable to their party. Prachanda had been successful in fooling uneducated innocent Nepalese for time being, now the turn is on the negative side, Nepalese people realized his greed for power with his crafty politics which caused the lives of about 15,000 innocent lives. After all this cost of precious human lives, What they achieved when they are on power and what is the present situation of Nepal? What they achieved is their own personal gain of more luxurious home and cars to drive, so what they really achieved is: they all put on more weight, as you can see their big belly and oily face with fake smiles. This is what they achieved in the name of peoples revolution and equality! Practically they are all political thugs!

2. Anonymous
I am not Nepali, but it really is very surprising that a political group that is so blatantly destroying so much in a small country happens to be the strongest political group which will, almost certainly, win the next election. I believe this may have something to do with the inertia of the truly good people (the small group of tax payers, workers, farmers who actually have something to do other than give eloquent speeches about human rights, then go home and beat someone up for, say, not saluting them) in the country because they cannot find any way to give expression to their voice. And that is really and truly because they know that if they dared try and organise themselves they would be found out and annihilated. I am reasonably convinced that is the case.

3. Arthur
Anonymous, I am not Nepali eiher and have drawn opposite conclusions from what we both read. It would indeed be surprising that the Maoists are so much more popular than the other parties if what the media and most commentators say about them was true. These people certainly display enormous inertia - they always have and would like to continue doing so while the poor, who support the Maoists live on less than USD $2 per day. They are not taxpayers (what a joke in Nepal!) nor are they workers or farmers - both groups are far too poor to contribute to media discussions and they overwhelmingly support the Maoists. The farmers don't own the land they farm and have to be fed by donors. The workers have to look for jobs in other countries. These "good people" live off rent, corruption and donor aid intended for the poor and make passionate claims about their commitment to human rights and fear of intimidation to help keep people like you (and themselves) convinced. Why do you remain convinced while also knowing that the Maoists have far more support? Wouldn't it make more sense to change your beliefs in the light of the facts you know rather than believing in fantasies to explain away the facts?

4. Anonymous
Let me be short and clear about this Arthur, I do not draw my conclusions lightly. Nevertheless, I have no intention of getting into this futile argument where fact is what we choose to believe from our interpretation of news reports.

5. @ ARTHUR **** Srijana...
Arthur, we know you are a foreigner mate. We also know that you are an European communist who is in Nepal romanticising the revolution in this third world, as your own country is most probably swinging to the right. But the thing is, with all the irony in the world, I quite like you, and I really wish and hope that you are someone who works in development industry in Nepal. Your views are that of a sore leftie when it comes to politics, but you are very knowledgeable and aware about this segment of Armani-donning self-appointed Nepali NGO entrepreuners who are found sucking up to their donor masters around Summit and Himalaya hotels in Lalitpur. If you really do work in development industry, sort that mess out will you please?

6. Arthur
Srijana, thanks, but unfortunately both your guesses about me and your expectations/requests are not quite realistic. I do not have romantic illusions either about revolution in the third world or that I can help sort out the mess in the "development industry". I do have some confidence that the Maoist party in Nepal is very different from the sort of "third world revolutionaries" that are often romanticized about and will soon be able to set an example of how to handle relations with both donors and investors that could have a positive impact worldwide. Unlike pseudolefts in developed countries they seem to have a very practical and serious attitude and know how to win rather than whine (major donors like ADB and World Bank seem to think so too - insisting on Maoist participation in negotiations on development projects despite objections from the "government").

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)