Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) Nepal and UNESCO office, Kathmandu jointly organized a half day national workshop on Safety of Radio Journalists for over 30 community radio journalist from different part of country. The event was organized under the UNPFN / UNESCO Project Increasing the Safety of Journalists on 14 February, 2014 on the occasion of Third World Radio Day.
The objectives were to bring issues concerning safety status, measures and vulnerability of community radio journalists at national and global level by sharing information, to identify clues and measures that helps promoting safety of journalist, safety of radio journalists in particular and aware national level stakeholders on UN plan of action in promoting safety of journalists and the ongoing UNESCO efforts in Nepal to promote safety measures.
According to the concerned organization representatives, Nepal is regarded as sensitive in journalist safety, thus the journalist themselves and the concerned authorities should to be conscious on their safety. Mr. Mohan Chapagain, President of ACORAB Nepal highlighted that, the challenges faced by radio journalist are different in comparison to that of other media sectors therefore, it is a need to discuss the matter with the different perception. At the same time Mr. Govinda Devkota, General Secretary of ACORAB Nepal stressed that, ACORAB Nepal will continue the series of discussion on journalist safety. The participant journalist and the representatives from media associated organizations said that, there is a severe need of legal and practical reforms to create a safe and peaceful working environment. Radio journalists are in more risk in comparison to print journalist. Thus, the concerned authorities should be serious on this matter. Mr. Shiva Gaunle, President, Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) highlighted that, lack of legal actions against the people attacking and abusing journalist is the main reason for the increasing impunity. Mr. Gaunle also emphasizes that the journalist themselves have to be responsible while writing news, its nature and proper management of its sources.
On the workshop Mr. Laxman Dutt Pant, Project Coordinator of Increasing the Safety of Journalist, UNESCO Kathmandu, presented paper on Safety Situation of Journalists Across the Country: Preliminary Observation. He highlighted that journalist safety project conducted by UNESCO is focused on creating safer environment by establishing ownership mechanism, increasing the capabilities of police and legislation system and to aware the journalist in protecting themselves. Mr. Pant also mentioned while presenting the work plan that the concerned authorities should be aware on taking legal actions to the people creating threat on radio journalist.
During the workshop Mr. Laxman Humagain, General Manager, Nepal Television presented paper on UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issues of Impunity and Ms. Laxmi Basnet, Senior Programme Producer of ACORAB Nepal also presented paper on Safety of Community Radio Journalist.