Nepali Times
Guest Column
Junk journalism



Celebrated commentator CK Lal's column in the last issue ('Junket journalism', #492) must have been an interesting read for students of journalism like myself. Lal's comment that this author "unabashedly promotes causes close to his heart" through the use of media has a wider relevance to the practice of journalism.

I have been arguing lately that the core value of 'public service' in journalism needs a radical redefinition. After studying journalism and working as a full-time journalist for nearly 18 years, I have been left wondering whether what I have been doing all these years has actually served the public.

Philanthropy is the cause that I have been "unabashedly" promoting through the use of media and that is what seems to have irked Lal. Through my various articles in the vernacular press, I have explained why I have been doing so.
First, the type of journalism practised around the world, which primarily revolves around politics, conflict and disasters, may not actually be enough to do justice to the fundamental objective of the profession we are in- public service. Day in and day out, we hear about the violence in the Middle East and poverty and conflict in Africa and Asia. Has the coverage changed anything? It seems clear the gap between the rich and the poor has widened, environmental degradation is increasing, public insecurity is high, and the list goes on.

The continuous flow of negative news and commentary seems, rather, to have desensitised society to human misery. I have realised however that many people find positive news refreshing and inspirational amidst the all-pervasive gloom surrounding society.Coincidentally, this weekly has been at the forefront in Nepal in promoting positive news, which has brought about visible change: Bhairab Risal's 'Sun light in Humla'(#245) and Captain Vijay Lama's 'Nyanopan' campaign ('I'm a Nepali first', #328) are a couple of examples. I doubt if the scores of columns on political punditry I've published in local and international media have had as much impact as those two features on life-changing noble acts. They have directly benefited some of the most vulnerable communities, who struggle to feed themselves every day and can't even imagine engaging in moral discourses in the national press as I am doing now.

Second, apart from the positive news, I have also concluded that the media's core value of public service would be served better if it were to be used to promote philanthropic causes. There is a strong complementary relation between the idea of public service in journalism and philanthropy that has remained largely unexplored. The question is, if politicians and many politically biased commentators constantly harp about their political beliefs in the opinion pages of newspapers, television and radio interviews, what is wrong in promoting philanthropy through the use of media? If Lal can support and promote 'lok tantra' (democracy) and a highly controversial GP Koirala, why can't one promote 'lok kalyan' (philanthropy) and the likes of Uttam Sanjel and Dr Upendra Mahato? Eighteen thousand poor Nepali children are getting a relatively good education for just 100 rupees a month because of Uttam Sanjel. And through Dr Mahato's support, at least another 18,000 poor children will also benefit. Who should be "mindful of the principles and personalities" they promote those who support abstract political views and some of the most loathed politicians in the country, or those who support solidly result-oriented social agendas and real change-makers?

We are so used to politico-centric journalism that one hardly questions it when Lal promotes GP Koirala, Hari Rokka promotes Prachanda or Bishnu Rijal promotes Madhav Nepal. However many people, like Lal, are uncomfortable with the idea of a philanthropic agenda being promoted through the press. It is ironic that the obsolete and recycled views of the same politicians get so much coverage every day in the press while the uncountable excellent initiatives undertaken by so many people throughout the country are underplayed or entirely ignored.

Until and unless we come out of this pit of politico-centric junk journalism and try to see the wider world, we will fail to understand the core value of the profession we are in.


Junket Journalism, by CK Lal - From issue #492 (05March 2010- 11 March 2010)

Three cheers for you Mr. Mishra. Good response to Mr. Lal's otherwise ego-centric piece, last week.

2. Prashant
Mishra Ji.....Its great to have someone like you in media world......i think you are great example and we need more people like you. I hope nepalese media and other journalist can take a lot of things from you and please keep moving forward and your belief.  We wish you all the best.

3. Nishma

I completely agree. I am an ardent reader of CK Lal but I must say that while the likes of CK Lal talk, Rabindra Mishra does. Normally, it's the doer who claims the moral high ground and preaches to talkers (in a rather irksome way). Strange, it's the other way round here. Does CK Lal want Mishra to quit his philanthtrophy and start pontificating in four newspaper columns every week? Mr Lal, with all due respect for your analytical powers, please reserve your cynicism for those who deserve it. I concede that you outshine all the talkers in Nepal, that's good for you, but what the majority of Nepalis need are doers, people who believe in action.

4. Nepal Hill, Singapore
Mishra ji writes:If Lal can support and promote 'lok tantra' (democracy) and a highly controversial GP Koirala, why can't one promote 'lok kalyan' (philanthropy) and the likes of Uttam Sanjel and Dr Upendra Mahato?"

One can. The downside is that your credibility as a journalist may suffer. One may argue that the downside depends on who the journalist is.

If you consider yourself a big enough journalist with years of solid work behind you, you can probably afford to "lend" your reputation to promote causes dear to your heart. This is what journalist-columnist Nicholas Kristoff of New York Times does these days, promoting certain third-world NGOs, and development issues that he and his wife are close to.

But most journalists (99.99 %) are not "big enough" to take that professional risk. Given that "buying" and "selling" of journalists are not uncommon in Nepal, when you as a journalist "unabashedly" promote certain individuals and causes (regardless of how lofty those causes are), the public does reserve the right to ask you, "Well, that's nice and heart-warming, but what is he feeding you?"

When faced with such questions, if you can remain comfortably honest then more power to you. But it does require the kind of solitary self-confidence that most Nepali journalists do not have. Like humans everywhere, they look for peer approval, and they don't want to be laughed at by their peers for singing a bhajan to Mahato when they meet for their nightly rakshi at Pahalman's Pub. Human nature, you know.

BTW, I do take issue of your coverage of Siddharth SJB Rana. Siddharth, at least the version I know of him, is a quiet and limelight-shunning fellow. He donated money, and asked you to keep his gift anonymous. But you did not. You had to shout from the rooftops. Therein, you breached double trust. You dishonoured the request of your donor, which does not give future (anonymous) donors a reason to work with you. And you made people question your judgement by publicly coming across as being a bit too cloying toward Siddharth. Unintended consequences, you know.

Perhaps you got caught up in your own exuberant enthusiasm. Then again, that's the risk one takes when a journalist promotes causes dear to his heart.


PART 1: Mr. Mishra is absolutely wrong about journalists promoting philanthropists for two simple reasons. First, journalists are in the business of challenging authority whether they be political figures or powerful businessmen. When journalists write glowing accounts of a businessman's philanthropy, it will compromise their objectivity. Rich people don't get rich by being nice, they all have shady sides. How will journalists take up those issues? Second, businessmen are in the business because they know the value of money. As such they don't make philanthropic contributions without expecting something in return (reputation, branding) which will in turn help their bottom-line. Journalists need to understand where businessmen are coming from.


PART 2: It was very very upsetting to read Mr. Mishra's glowing account of Mr. Siddhartha S JBR's ( Rs. 10 million contributions to his pet cause HelpNepal a while back. It was upsetting on several levels. First, the amount! Yes, it is a lot in absolute terms but it is pittance in relative terms; according to my calculation it is less than 0.08% of Mr. Rana's net worth. Sure Mr. Rana deserves thanks but NOT a whole article. Second, Mr. Mishra gives only positive sides of Mr. Rana. I would like to know not so good sides also. For instance, how the hell did Mr. Rana's family ended up owning Rs. 13 billion worth of assets. Of course coming from old Rana oligarchy helped but I would like Mr. Mishra to explain it properly. Third, Himalaya Bank was recently ensnared in Rs. 8 billion capital flight scandal. Will Mr. Mishra investigate it with the same gusto now Mr. Rana is one his benefactors? Fourth, Mr. Rana and his business received very good publicity. In econ-speak Rs. 10 had high ROI (return on investment).

7. Manik

Junk Journalism indeed.

I smell Mr Mishra trying to rise up to the maestro that CK Lal is in telling his stories, and sorry to say but I am ashamed in Mr Mishra has completely lost the plot here by telling someone else's story. Mr Pandey [Vijay Kumar] does it better. Leave that to him. A word of advice- do not struggle to find your niche to measure upto the maestroes;  BE YOURSELF, and oh boy, aren't you struggling? I guess you have lost the plot since Gagan Thapa junket and putting too much pressure on yourself by self-promoting[HeNN] to share the light of likes of Pandey and Lal.

Student of journalism you say, and I suspect you shall be a student for few more years to come. But thanks to the times that you can look upto people like Lal.

Mr Mishra, why on earth wouldn't you stick to your BBC-ways and moderate talks, dialogue, thought and even philanthropy- if that is your newfound fetish? I am sure you did it best! Please do not junk-it!

8. Thurpunsich
I share Mr. Mishra's disdain for "controversial" politicians and "politically biased commentators". Politically biased commentary twists facts. That is a form of spin-doctoring. It should draw flak. 

Philanthropy is good and must be praised. Journalists should write about philanthropy. But in the name of praising philanthropy, when a journalist promotes personality, it stops being objective journalism. And when the rich and noveau riche are highlighted more than their causes of philanthropy, the praise becomes deification of personality at that point.

I don't know about Mr. Mishra, but personally I am more inspired by individuals with little means but who imagine inventive ideas to raise funds to do the good deeds much more than by rich and noveau riche who can afford to give large donations. The large donations of the rich are large in amount by the standards of common people like me but are really only "peanuts" for the those rich "philanthropists".

I think deification of rich "philanthropists" by journalists is as much a form of biased journalism as deification of "controversial politicians".

I'm delighted to read about causes of philanthropy, acts of philanthropy, and, in measured amount, the philanthropists (in that order and in a decreasing order by a factor of 10) any day.

9. sshakya

CK Lal is absulately correct on what he asserted in the last column.

Some greatest journalists( Edward Murrow, Wlater Cronkite, Hunter Thomson etc. ) that world has known were respected not becuase of philanthropy they practiced but with thier abstract thinking and investigative and objective journalism.

A journalist doing philanthropy is paramoun to a student taking Ginko tonic (or memory pill) to concentrate on exam.

Think: India would have never been liberated if Gandhi had been ditributing Rotis to few poor Indian.

CK Lal thinks in a big picture because he is true jounalist. 

10. Kale
In public interest, BBC should come clean. Are their employees allowed to peddle their influence to promote personal causes? Specially if it involves promoting businessmen of non-transparent reputation? In Nepal, Mr. Mishra is an employee of a foreign organization. What does Nepalese Interior Ministry say about his activities? These are small things. Mind you, big corruption have small beginning.

11. AJ
" If Lal can support and promote 'lok tantra' (democracy) and a highly controversial GP Koirala.....", Mishra just hit the nail in the head. I've been following CK Lal over the years, I have always found him having deep-seated hatred against army, and the unconditional service to GPK. CK Lal is not doing jounalism, he's been the tool of GPK's propoganda appratus. And to talk about Hari Rokka, it's just a waiste of time and words!

12. Homey, Bidesh

Why the bloody hell are we so cynical of everything around us? Why do we have to take sides? What is it that makes us Nepalis so pessimistic?

Nepali journalism is in a better shape today because of CK Lal's resolute contributions over the decade. He has served the country well. We all have been stimulated, pleased, wound up, inspired, and forced to think by CK Lal.

Rabindra Mishra packed his bags in London and came back to Nepal to contribute in a very meaningful way. While self-admiring Nepalis in London spent their lives and Friday nights in seedy bars in London pontificating on politics and abusing each other, he set up Help Nepal and started sending money to build schools in dirt poor villages.

We are all broken. We are all wrong, we are all right. But let's do away with this much venom? Let's just start praising people with goodwill when they take initiatives?

13. Himal
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

14. Nirmal
It is nice to read Rabindra with his reasons. I heartly appreciate his contribution. But I didnot expect from him the kind of attitude he wanted to demonstrate- If falano does this why not I-.  CK Lal actually raised the matter exemplifying your case but it was all about the modality that the current media often serves the public. I think you didnot give due importance to comments posted on CK Lal's previous column in Nepali Times last week. Of course through out the heavy publicity of big donation to Sanjel's school, none of the news reader were able to get chance to see the administrative, logistic and educative facilities available there. It was quite strange to know that what matters is the donation not what the project is alike. After all it is the idea behind which deserves the best attention, isn't it? If the idea is not workable how many Mahatos will be there in this earth to donate?

15. Durga dutta jha
Mr. Mishra is absolutely correct when he says you got stretch beyond politics to understand the real issues. In a country where people are fleeced by politicians shamelessly, social awareness through philanthropic work is not only essential but required to keep a thing called "morality" alive. While Mishra is trying to do some public good by raising money to build schools and other public properties, Lal silently pushes Indian agenda by saying Nepal has never been a nation, but a state. It is silently sowing the seed for greater Indian intervention. I would personally not be surprised if lal down the road comes and says, for security and prosperity, there is no harm agreeing to Indian agendas, after all we have never been a nation!

16. Prasant
I agreed. CK jee's efforts is being concentrated around hate journalism and he didn't see any positive side of the coin. His agenda is very dangerous as he has been trying to divide Nepali people just to serve his foreign masters. His naked journalism was apprent during the VP Jha's oath ceremony. Pls use your writing skill to unite Nepali people but not to divide us.

17. Thurpunsich
I didn't know it was Mr. Mishra who started Help Nepal Network (HeNN) fund-raising campaign. I thought he, as a journalist, was merely writing about a particularly large donation.

Now, what does this mean to me? I should be delighted to know that Mr. Mishra is dedicated to public service through fundraising activities. Yes, I am.

But, now something troubles me even more about Mr. Mishra. 

Initially, I thought he, as a journalist, was promoting, even deifying, a rich philanthropist (Mr. Rana).

Now, I see that Mr. Mishra, the fundraiser, was writing in the garb of a journalist. He was understandably pleased with Mr. Rana's particularly generous donation and he allowed the journalist side of himself to use the wherewithals of journalism to promote a personality who donated with big heart.

That is even more troubling. My disappointment has grown two-fold.

I have a big heart, too; only, I am a man of small means. Despite my small means, I have wanted to give to charities.

However, now I'm not sure if my contribution to charities, particularly HeNN, would be as welcome as Mr. Rana's.

I'm probably better off saving my cents in my piggy bank. But, I doubt the likes of Mr. Mishra would give two hoots... as long as there are Richie Rich Sahebs to pamper them.

18. Journalist
Mishra ji, what I am interested in is whether we can trust you and your reporting and writing to be impartial anymore. What if these guys offered HeNN Nepal millions of rupees? Would you give them favorable coverage? How can we trust you that will be fair and impartial. Isn't this just bribe by another name?

19. Neetu Pokharel , srilanka

Mishra ji, I liked this article. Thought it is not a new issue but the way you have presente  is really admirable. I am not deeply awared of the personal issue of politicians and journalists as mentioned here but  my concern is media should play very constructive role towards the nation and people. It should cover frequently  some encouraging figures and facts ratherthan only highlighting the negative aspects  like violence, political game and the inauguration from Primeminsiter.

Media should not forget its core principles: neutrality, impartiality and factfindings..

Keep it up Mishra ji..

20. Chamarey
That sleazy looking guy in the picture who always clings to ministers. I dont know if his is junk journalism, but he is a junk journlalist for sure. Rabindra Mishra and CK Lal elevate journalism, in their own ways, while this guy brings disgrace in journalism.

21. Yosok Pun
Thank you Mr. Mishra for your really "refreshing and inspiring" piece of journalistic integrity. I've given up on reading news from my motherland, Nepal for a few years now because every time, it is the same old bickering politicians and deadlock to the point of maddening depression. There is no progress and positive change being reported. I applaud your cause and would gladly read philanthropic journalism by you. 

Yosok Pun 
Baltimore, MD USA 

22. SW
Conforming to their employer's rules, Mishra (of BBC) and Lal (of the Government of Nepal?) are entitled to write on whatever they feel like in their columns, but if their subject is linked to a personal interest, no matter how benign, the connection must be declared.  Good journalism requires "Full Disclosure" on potential conflict of interest. After the writing and the declaring, what then to take away from the article is up to the reader. 

For example, if Mishra is praising Mahato, he must mention that Mahato is a donor to his cause. If Lal is praising GPK, but has had no formal affiliation with him (as advisor, etc.,) other than possibly a past voter of the Nepali Congress, no disclosure is needed. But if Lal makes a habit of writing about GPK uncritically, his credibility diminishes, and may only have influence among the faithful. But it's up to Lal to make that choice consciously, and it's fine. In the United States, the best columnists all have their "color" – George Will and Charles Krauthammer write in The Washington Post from the right, Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman write from the left in The New York Times. In contrast, David Brooks (right of center) and Tom Friedman (left of center) try to cover both sides, and come across as less partisan. But all those mentioned appear in the "editorial" pages, not the news section.  

Non-editorial journalism of plain reporting of facts and quotes is a whole different universe. There should be no room there for personal opinion or bias.

Mishra's position is tricky – his main job is one of a fact-chasing BBC reporter, but he is also the Editor of the Nepali Service with other roles, like interviewing people, where his opinions and editorializing run amok. Outside the BBC, he is a fundraiser for a charity, and an op-ed writer on social issues. When Lal implies that Mishra devotes a disproportionate amount of newspaper inches to writing about his own causes, he is alluding to a conflict of interest. It is in Mishra's interest to redress this with full disclosures before benign conflicts of interest give way to perceptions of murkier conflicts, and lost readership or influence.        

One could learn a little from the best newspaper in the world -- The New York Times, and how it tries to manage this issue. According to its Nobel-winning liberal columnist, Paul Krugman, the paper "insists that writers be free from anything that might raise questions." This probably means no speaking fees, lucrative consulting contracts, etc., from parties who may have an interest in having Krugman spin his influential column in their favor.  Here's an interesting defense of his short connection with the disgraced company Enron, after he started writing for the Times:

(Full disclosure: I know Mishra and have donated to Help Nepal.)  

23. Not a jourmalist
I didn't study journalism so I did some research. To cover for my lack of knowledge, I resort to quoting from respected sources. Safer that way.

"According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, there are nine elements of journalism that journalists need to be mindful of in order to fulfill their duty of providing the people with the information they need to be free and self-governing. #9 says: Its (journalism's) practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience."

I think Mr Mishra is exercising his conscience, his duty and right as a journalist, in the simplest most explicit manner. He is passionate about public service. He's started an organisation to help Nepal. He meets philanthropists in the course of his social work. When he is amazed, moved or perplexed by a certain persona, incident, frustration, he writes about it. That's how articles are written.

Now, do all people agree with his views? Do wary readers smell a fish when he extols the virtues of his donors? Do fellow-journalists and/or discerning readers like his 'unabashed' praise for do-gooders? No rocket science to guessing there are people on all sides of the opinion board. Some love it, some hate it, some cite reason, some simply rant venom. That's the way it's always going to be.

But life goes on, beyond this article (which personally I think is a damn good one) and the one that prompted it (Lal's piece which I haven't read). In two and half blips (a very short time) this debate will be forgotten (trust me). There will be other new topics to debate on, to respond to, to rant about.

A commenter above said: there are talkers (the likes of Lal) and doers (the likes of Mishra). I'll take the doers who also talk unabashedly at risk of affront from detractors whose say, btw, does not matter two hoots. Just carry on with your work and your words.

In the larger scheme of things, the only thing that matters is whether Mishra still has a conscience and does he exercise it in the days and years to come. Let's leave the bloody debate of what is/isn't good journalism to the experts.

24. Pashupati

I am frequent readers of the Nepali Times, and a listioner of BBC Nepali Services. It is my opinion that The Nepali Times does not a Patrakar, but it has commentators like CK Lal, and Mr Dixits, they have their own agendas which they are using their Media to influnce the average Nepali.

I always wonder how come a Nepali press media like Nepali times gives title Like, Nepal in India, Nepal goes to India? If Nepali times had a Patrakar, those title would have never given since the vast majority of Nepal have a serious doubts on a Nepal's neighbour.

I think it is not  fair to   CK Lal to compare to A Nepali patrakar, he is a political commentor who happened to be a Pure NC, who supports NC blindly. I have listed his comments on BBC Nepali Services, the BBC nepali services introduces him as a political commentatro, not as a Junk Journalist, but as a Junk opininoner ( my opinion only- Joke).

25. Manik
Mr Mishra, sorry to say once again- but you have given an insight into the good account that you are of poor politic punditry, and a cavalier of discourses that you claim are higher of moral. From London, don't you give us an impression that you come back to Kathmandu , heavier than yourself and stepping on karna shakya, gagan thapa, sid rana, mahato, sanjel,  lal - et. al
But why? I still believe one day you will see the light of day and be amongst them who awe us with their true-self. And some of us do not have to research [the flair you write with] what we read and still could tell a pig from a cow.
Im sure you eagerly wait for Lal- what he scribbles next, i do, i just read him in Himal south asia. One day, id love to wait for your next scribble. goodluck.

26. Abhi
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

27. AJ
Atleast we have some kind of constructive and healthy debate going on here. I would spend some time in other nepali news portals like Nagariknews and MySansar, but people's misguided hate filled comments just made me sameful of being associated with Nepali. But, now i realize we have pretty talented and educated folks around here who have made me realize both sides of the issue. Thanks guys! For me I would associate more with Mr. Mishra's piece because I have found CK Lal little bit more biased

28. Ram lal
If anything, Lal's relationship with journalism can best be described as "it's complicated.". By day, he's a civil servant with Government of Nepal. By day, he's also a journalist. Unless he enjoys 48-hour days, it's reasonable to assume that he pursues his anti-government journalism career on the GoN's, and by extension, taxpayers' paisa. Until he gives one job for the other, his judgment of how others do their work only make him an opportunistic hypocrite. 

29. Raja
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

30. suraj

So far so good, the two Nepalese Media topdogs widely popular for their analytical power had been fighting in the elite Bi-monthly for their philosophy had drawn my attention interestingly.

Firstly, Mr lal there is no doubt that you are the  brand ambassador of Bade Koirala(GPK), secondly Mishra too became the  brand ambassador of Mr Mahato as he donated hefty amount on his charity programme for good cause.

Eventually, i don't want to let down Mishra for what he has done as he has inspired Philanthropism in Nepal after long period of time, and you Mr lal too keep on doing your analyis at best level  to reveal us denizens who is who !!

Thankyou very much indeed !!

31. Bhuvan

It's a nice and healthy debate going on round here. Well the issue started with Lal commenting on the trend of journalism that is prevalent in Nepal and in one of his previous article he exemplified Mr Mishra as promoting his philanthropic cause via BBC with some trends of journalism.

Lets be clear with several trends of Journalism...Talking much on political issue and giving a anti or pro perspective is quite catchy and its kind of strategy that most of the media follows (e.g Kantipur in Nepal)..Well anti-news it's quite provocative and catches peoples emotion. the +ve side of it is that we can get detailed of what is going on..

Beside that there is Reality journalism reporting issues strategically to provoke or catch audience via emotion or more of sentiments. Mostly with private news channel in TV's.

likewise there are sting operation where a investigation of any scandal or fraud type of things is done. and tabloid where mostly the news are sponsored

in my view People/ ideology /journalist can't be free from different school of thoughts. there writing trends suggest this inclination or soft corners for the groups or ideology. If we can be analytical we can see the trends and see the pattern if its more of the same pattern of news or analysis on any particular person or group then its definitively junk other wise no one on earth can be 100 % free of all ideologies. so lal occasional inclined analysis towards GPK is fine so long as he don't become spokesperson of GPK. Furthermore if we are sensible we can know the construct of GPK and try to use it to know or be more factual about GPK.

Similarly about Mishra, if he takes some issues of philanthropy its fine but he shouldn't be a public relation agent of that donor. There he ll lose his credibility. Mishra doing so is fine so long as he promotes the same from a disadvantaged group or irrespective of social cast or creed or class.

The bottom line story is no any journalist can be 100 % factual, if he becomes factual he ll be a Textbook, so analysis make the picture more inclined towards his school of thoughts. but in doing so he must see himself as the reader perspective. well keep it simple, target the audience, keep the message clear and let it be an approach of progressive society though left, rightist, socialist or radicalist can have a different explanation for progressive society.....ha ha ha

32. help

Like Lal you have promoted urself.

Media are changing and a safe topic like philantropy is good not to be shot over.

But I do agree we need practicality is this crazy country, god bless you Mishra.

33. PD
Journalists have the responsibility to give a balanced and true perspective of Nepal. Unfortunately, our journalists are ONLY focused on politics.

If Girija sneezes, our dear journalists find it important and have a news story on it. On the contrary, if a Nepali does something good and makes all Nepalese around the world proud - we hear nothing. In a country with 30+ million people, don't we have anything to celebrate?

When we read and hear the news, we only read political news - as if every Nepali is only active in politics. We have many wonderful things in Nepal that journalists should promote.

Just as journalists have made our stupid politicians famous by covering their silly acts, the same journalists can change the status quo.

Stop covering the politicians and only give 5% of your space to covering political news. Cover other things of Nepal and give everyone a newer perspective.

We are all tired of reading only about Girija, his cronies and the stupid politicians. Please do us justice and cover something positive. Start covering positive news and transform the Nepali psyche positive.  To your benefit, any newspaper or journalist that becomes completely positive will gain market share and make lots of profits.

34. kris, USA
Mr. Mishra,
Agree with you. Just keep up your work.

Wonderful to see such variety in comments of the article this time and the number is still increasing. RM has really set people on fire and CKL definitely started it. Keep the great articles flowing in. I wish they both write and get acclaim and comprehension from the public whenever they write opinion pieces.

36. Sammy
I was thinking, wow CK Lal writes well. Then I was thinking wow, Rabindra writes too. Now I am thinking, wow, people write even better.

Nepali Times has singlehandedly raised the level of public debate in this country. well done you!

37. half_zero

If we draw a graph based on the above comments, the graph's shape will be asymmetric- more lopsided toward Rabindra Mishra.

This shows how committed liberal democrats such as CK Lal, Prof. Lok Raj Baral, Kishor Nepal, and Prof. Abhi Subedi have been lately exasperating Nepali upper middle class or middle class by advocating for radical change or inclusive democratic soceity in Nepal.

Has BP Koirala's tenet become obsolete in Nepal ??

38. Root of Infinity

के रबिन्द्र मिश्र जी "नया मदर टेरेशा" बन्दै छन नेपालमा-- एक हातमा पत्रकारिता र अर्को हातमा "Charity"  ????

क्रिश्चियेंन मिसिनरीहरु एक हातमा बाइबल समाएर र अर्को हातमा गरिब नेपालीहरुलाई लुगा, कपडा, कापी, कलम र औषधि बांदै नेपाल भित्रिन थालेको जयस्थिति मल्लको पाला देखि नै हो ! त्यो आज सम्मपनि चली नै रहेको छ ! उनीहरुको मनसायमा कुनै दोष छैन, तर त्यो charity approach  को यति लामो यात्रामा आजसम्म "समस्या" कति "समाधान" भयो त गहन प्रश्न त्यही छ !


मिश्र जी, तपाइँ यहा नेपालमा मदर टेरेशाको थिममा पत्रकारिता र charity को नया combo meal भित्राउदै हुनुहुन्छ उता बिकसित देशहरुमा पढे-लेखेका र विद्व समुदायहरु उल्टो दिशातिर आर्कषित हुँदैछन - ध्यानको (Meditation) दिशातिर ! अमेरिकाको college town हरु वा बढी शीक्षित समुदायहरु बस्ने town हरुका प्रत्येक plaza हरु जस्तोमा "ध्यान केन्द्र", "विक्रम योग सेन्टर", र "पतंजली योग सेन्टर" जस्ता संथाहरु mushrooming हुँदैछन !  


एक पत्रकार जो समाजको द्रष्टापनि हुन्छ को लागी मिल्दो combo "ध्यान" हुन् सक्छ न कि "Charity" ! ध्यानले  दिने चेतनाले गरिबी, गरिबी लाग्न छोड्नेछ, अमीरी, अमीरीलाग्न छोड्नेछ,  र शक्ति, शक्तिलाग्न छोड्नेछ !  त्यसपछि त्यो uncountable excellent initiatives ( च्यारिटी)  को व्यर्थताले तपाईलाई सताउनेछ !

"ध्यान" कुनै religion संग सम्बन्धित छैन तर पूर्वीय सभ्यताको आविष्कार हो !    


39. Suresh
This is an excellent article. The young generation is already fed up with politics, politicians or their news. We need positive and inspirational news which encourage everyone to do good things.


Mr. Mishra and Mr. Lal have to decide what they want to be called (a) journalist (b) columnist (c) public relations officer or (d) propagandist.

Journalists: Report facts

Columnists: Express opinions

Public Relations Officers: Promote products and personalities

Propagandists: Promote political parties and politicians

By these definitions, Mr. Mishra is NOT a journalist but a public relations officer and Mr. Lal NOT a columnist but a propagandist!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)