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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2397

Media freedom the heart of democracy

[b]Media freedom the heart of democracy[/b]

By Mohan Nepali

Media freedom, frequently referred to as freedom of press, is the heart of democracy. This is not an idealistic statement. It is a tested and tasted reality in everyday life. Media circulates information in human society the way heart purifies and supplies vital blood through nerves. It is vital for democracy to survive and grow. Continued discussion on media freedom is very important especially when His Majesty’s Government of Nepal has been attempting to exercise more curbs on Nepali media.

Media freedom cannot be separated from democracy. In Nepal, press freedom came along with democracy in 1950, following the downfall of the 104-year long Rana oligarchy. But press freedom went back with the hijack of democracy in 1961. This shows how inalienable the tie between democracy and media freedom is.

The Nepalese people, mostly backed up by the then mission journalism, demonstrated their tremendous power through the 1990 mass movement that restored the multiparty democracy previously hijacked. Irrigated by a democratic atmosphere, post-1990 Nepali media grew rapidly and took the form of an industry in the country. This media growth in the country after 1990 has increased people’s participation in the discussion of varieties of issues.

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