Analysis of Radio Nepal, Print Media and Nepal Television

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Analysis of Radio Nepal, Print Media and Nepal Television Powered By Docstoc
					    Analysis of Radio Nepal, Print
     Media and Nepal Television
                       (1st March to 14th April 2003)

                                 Submitted to:
Beyond Trafficking: A Joint Initiative in the Millennium against
            Trafficking in Girls and Women (JIT)

                                  Prepared by:

                     Promoting Communication for Equality

            P. O. Box 13293, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: 5538549/5546715
                    Fax: 5547291 E-mail:
Study Team

Team Leader and Coordination:
Bandana Rana

Report Compilation:
Navin Singh

Based on Contributions from:
Babita Basnet
Maya Giri
Devendra Dhungana

1.   Background ................................................................................................... 1
     1.1       Objective ............................................................................................ 2
     1.2       Scope ................................................................................................. 2
     1.3       Methodology ....................................................................................... 2
2.   Radio Nepal ................................................................................................... 3
     2.1       Existing Trend ..................................................................................... 3
     2.2       Strengths ............................................................................................ 4
     2.3       Weaknesses & Gaps ............................................................................ 4
     2.4       Analysis .............................................................................................. 4
     2.5       Recommendations ............................................................................... 5
     2.6       Media Trend ....................................................................................... 5
3.   Nepal Television ............................................................................................. 8
     3.1       Existing Trend ..................................................................................... 8
     3.2       Strengths ............................................................................................ 8
     3.3       Weaknesses & Gaps .............................................................................9
     3.4       Analysis .............................................................................................. 9
     3.5       Recommendations ............................................................................... 9
     3.6       Media Trend ........................................................................................ 10
4.   Print Media .................................................................................................... 14
     4.1       Existing Trend ..................................................................................... 14
     4.2       Strengths ............................................................................................ 15
     4.3       Weaknesses & Gaps .............................................................................15
     4.4       Analysis ...............................................................................................16
     4.5       Recommendations ................................................................................16
     4.6       Media Trend ........................................................................................ 16
               4.6.1     Trafficking ................................................................................16
               4.6.2     Other Forms of Violence Against Women .................................... 18
5.   Conclusion ..................................................................................................... 22

ANNEX:         Examples of Publications that came out in the Print Media
The evolution of mass media in Nepal does not have a very long history. It began with the
introduction of the hand press in 1851 A.D. The printing of the first monthly magazine “Sudha
Sagar” in 1891 actually signifies the beginning of Nepali journalism. Two years later in 1901, the
first weekly newspaper was published and was converted into a daily newspaper in 1960. The
first state owned “Gorkhapatra Corporation” came into being in 1964 and the first English daily
“The Rising Nepal” was brought out in 1965. The Corporation continues its publication even
today. In addition to Nepali and English dailies, it also publishes one weekly paper in English
and three monthly magazines in Nepali. At present, there are 8 other Nepali dailies and 3
English dailies published in the capital. There are also numerous other English and Nepali

The restoration of multi-party democracy in Nepal in 1990 paved the way for the expansion of
civil society. During the years 1950 to 1990, very few women communicators or media
professionals contributed in both print and electronic media. Moreover, gender equality was
not even considered an issue by the civil society and the state. After 1990, gender and
development entered into the development discourse in Nepal. The Nepali civil society began
to show its great concern over the negative portrayal of women as a commodity and second
class citizens through both private and government controlled print and electronic media. It is
estimated that print media, both daily and weekly, presents only 7% of the total coverage on
women’s issues and about half of these are related to sex, prostitution, glamour, entertainment
and crime. Moreover, the National Plan of Action prepared by the Ministry for Women and
Social Welfare in 1997 has stated that the presence of women communicators in both electronic
and print media is negligible (less than 7% in radio and print media and less than 12% in
television). The Action Plan has formulated a national policy for creating gender awareness and
portraying positive images of women, increasing women’s participation and developing
alternate means in media. In addition to these problems within media, the whole country is
facing serious gender issues such as discriminatory laws, unequal property rights, trafficking of
women and girl child, lack of women’s participation in public life, problems in acquiring
citizenship or nationality, illiteracy, unemployment, degenerating reproductive health
conditions, suffering of rural women, and violence against women and girls. These problems
are perpetuated by mainstream (malestream) media.

In spite of the change in the media environment after democracy, visible improvement in terms
of women’s participation in the media is yet to be achieved. Of the staff working in state owned
Radio Nepal, only 17% are women. Only twenty of these women are involved in mainstream
journalism, mainly the news department. In Nepal Television, the percentage of women staff is
16% and in the state owned print media “The Gorkhapatra Sansthan”, the national English and
Nepali dailies, the percentage of women is 14%. Only three of these women are in sub editorial
positions, whereas only 4% of women are employed in the National News Agency. The private
sector more or less reflects the same picture. The total percentage of women working in the
media is thus estimated to be around 12% (Source: National Plan of Action, 1997). Majority of
these women occupy subordinate roles or work in the administrative sector and not in the
mainstream media. Moreover, the percentage of women working in the districts is almost
1.1      Objective
The aim of this report is to present the findings of one and a half months monitoring of the Print
Media, Radio Nepal and news and programmes aired on Nepal Television on trafficking and
other forms of violence against women from March 1-April 14, 2003 and draw an analysis based
on the findings.

1.2      Scope
The trends and practices of news coverage in the state media is expected to hold much
significance in making an assessment of the present situation and in contemplating the
measures necessary for reinvigorating media organizations to highlight women's issues with
emphasis on trafficking and other forms of violence in the future.

1.3      Methodology
The following methodologies were used to monitor the media during the period:
§     Close monitoring and observation of news and programmes in the print media and
      electronic media. The print media monitored were "A" and "B" category newspapers
      published from Kathmandu. In terms of elctronic media programmes from "The Radio
      Nepal" and "Nepal Televiion" were reviewed during the programme period.
§     Interviews with relevant parties.
§     Record of the news and programmes relevant to trafficking and other forms of violence
      against women.
§     Analysis of the media based on these records.

Thus this report incorporates the findings of the media monitoring and review of the above
mentioned media over a 45 days period (1 March - 12 April 2003), and attempts to draw an
analysis based on these findings.
2.     Radio Nepal

2.1    Existing Trend

Radio Nepal is the only national radio station in Nepal and it is state owned. It started
broadcasting in 1951 with a four-hour programme. It covers about 90% of the population by
medium wave transmission through its five relay stations. Radio Nepal is able to reach places
that newspapers and television are unable to reach because of the difficult topography of Nepal.
Thus, radio is the most widely accessible media to the majority of the people. On Saturdays and
public holidays, Radio Nepal is broadcast continuously from 5 am to 11 pm and on other days it
is broadcast from 5 am to 11 am and again from 1 pm to 11 pm. Recently as a result of strong
advocacy from women journalists for the first time a woman has been appointed from the quota
of professionals as a member of the Board of Directors of state owned Radio Nepal.
Observing the trend of programmes on trafficking and VAW between 1st March to 14th April,
2003 it can be realized that there is minimum coverage of the issues of trafficking and other
forms of violence in Radio Nepal. The monitoring of the radio programmes reveal that not
much priority is accorded to issues of trafficking and other forms of violence. There is only one
15 minute weekly programme totally devoted to violence against women and trafficking and
two 15 minute monthly programmes. Two of these programmes are sponsored by various
"Sachetana" is a programme totally devoted to girl trafficking which is designed to generate
awareness against girl trafficking. The duration of this programme is 15 minutes and it is aired
at 8:15 pm. This programme is supposed to be the only weekly programme related to trafficking
but this programme is broadcast as per the priority of programmes in Radio Nepal and it is not
aired every week. The programme is sponsored by Caritas Nepal. Another monthly programme
"Paridrasta" is broadcast with the objective of generating awareness against trafficking and
violence against women and to provide legal advise. The duration of the programme is also 15
minutes and it is broadcast at 8:45 pm. This programme is sponsored by LACC and ABC,
Nepal. Another monthly programme related to women's issues is "Barabari" which is also a 15
minute programme and this is also broadcast at 8:45 pm. This is the only non-sponsored
programme that Radio Nepal has at present.

Besides the above programmes, dramas on women's issues are aired at times in the afternoons.
Most of the other broadcastings related to trafficking and VAW are reporting of meetings or
seminars inaugurated by prominent personalities or quoted from the various newspapers.
Trafficking and VAW issues are limited to the speeches of Ministers or other dignitaries
speaking at functions. Most of the other programmes give prominence to political activities.
Many of the broadcasts which have been recorded are just a few sentences incorporated into
other programmes.

2.2    Strengths
The following strengths of Radio Nepal have been identified:
§     Radio Nepal is the only form of media which reaches more than 90% of the population.
§     Radio Nepal can be a powerful tool for generating awareness among the people through
      effective programmes.
§     Radio Nepal can act as a powerful tool for advocacy.
§     Radio Nepal has the highest number of recipients in the kingdom.
§     Compared to previous years, issues regarding trafficking and VAW have been getting some

2.3      Weaknesses & Gaps

The following weaknesses and gaps have been identified by the study:
§     At present, Radio Nepal does not have effective, regular and consistent programmes
      targeted towards women.
§     The programmes at present are too short in duration and are aired after long intervals and
      the timing is not appropriate for the target audience.
§     Radio Nepal gives more prominence to political activities.
§     Programmes on trafficking and VAW are broadcast at a time which is not suitable for rural
§     Lack of gender sensitivity among decision-makers.
§     Lack of effective policies in order to raise gender issues.
§     Lack of adequate resources for programmes on trafficking and other forms of violence.

2.4      Analysis
The following analysis can be drawn from the monitoring of Radio Nepal.
§     The limited programmes on trafficking and other forms of violence that are aired by Radio
      Nepal are inconsistent, short in duration to pass the message and aired at inappropriate
      timing to reach the target group (8:45 pm is not an ideal time for rural women who are the
      major target group).
§     The programmes that are sponsored mostly air interviews of members of the same
      organizations and lack investigative research and in-depth reporting.
§     Lack of study and lack of listener's survey.
§     The news only quotes prominent people speaking at functions and lacks comments from
      general/local people.
§     The programme "Akhabar" quotes news which have come out in the print media.
§     Lack of reporting of changes in policy/law and its impact in the society.
§     The liability of Radio Nepal lacks clarity - do they only wait for sponsors for programmes ?
§     The policy level must think in terms of increasing advocacy.
§     Alongwith gender mainstreaming, there should be at least 20% focused programmes on
      women's issues.
2.5      Recommendations

The following recommendations and suggestions have been identified by the analysis:
§     Observing the present trend, there seems to be a need to sensitize and train the people at the
      decision-making level (Chief Editor, Main reporters, etc.,) in order to give adequate priority
      to programmes related to trafficking and VAW.
§     Development of programmes on women's issues through its own initiative instead of
      depending upon sponsors.
§     More women would benefit if programmes related to women were broadcast at a suitable
      time (between 6 to 7 pm), targeting the women in the rural areas.
§     Short advertisements on VAW and trafficking at regular intervals would help generate
      awareness among women and girls.
§     Development of effective policies to mainstream gender issues in Radio Nepal.
§     Conduct a listeners survey to assess ongoing programmes and develop future programmes.

2.6      Media Trend

The following programmes were broadcast related to trafficking and other forms of violence
between 1st March to 14th April 2003.

 Date       Programme        Time          Type                            Subject
1 Mar     Saathi Saanga     2:05       Letter         A message to fight against sexual exploitation in
          Manka Kura        PM         Enquiries      a reply to a letter.
          (Heart to Heart
          Talk with
2 Mar     News Bulletin     7,8,9,10   Reporting      Reporting of an interaction on 'Present Peace
                            ,11                       Talks and the Role of Women' organized by
                            (PM)                      Sancharika and FES.
3 Mar     Akhabar           6:15       News           The Spacetime Daily was quoted as publishing
          (Newspaper)       AM                        an article of the exchange of a daughter with a
4 Mar     News Bulletin     7, 9       Reporting      News reporting of the arrest of some youths who
                            (AM)                      wooed a village girl in Bidur Municipality for
4 Mar     Sachetana         8:15       Programme      Activities implemented by various organizations
          (Awareness)       PM         on women       against trafficking
          Sponsored by      (15        trafficking    interview with the President of ABC, Nepal
          Caritas, Nepal    mins)      and VAW        Durga Ghimire
                                                      Reply to enquiries through correspondence
 Date       Programme        Time         Type                             Subject
6 Mar     Dur Sichha                   Drama          The drama focused on a daughter being locked
          (Long Distance                              up due to the fear that she may elope.
7 Mar     Aajako            7:25       News related   Interview with Chitralekha Yadav and Chief of
          Sandharva         PM         Programme      the woman wing of UML Vidya Bhandari where
         (Today's                                       they stressed on unity to fight against VAW.
8 Mar    News                7, 9 AM    News related    Various programmes on women were aired. In
                                        to              his message, Minister for Women, Children and
                                        International   Social Welfare Gore Bahadur Khapangi
                                        Women's Day     reiterated the commitment of the government in
                                                        eliminating all forms of VAW.
8 Mar    Parivesh            7:15       Interview       Interview with the Vice President of the
                             AM                         Women's Commission regarding its activities.
8 Mar    Human Rights        8:35       Discussion      The discussion focused on women victims due to
         Programme           AM                         the Maoist conflict.
                                                        Women labours should be given a leave on
                                                        International Women's Day
                                                        Women arrested for illegal abortion should be
9 Mar    Akhabar             6:15       News            HMG is in the process of implementing new
                             AM                         programmes for women empowerment.
10 Mar   Akhabar             6:15       News            Main headlines mentioned a woman victim of 8
                             AM                         years of witch accusation. Details were not
11 Mar   Sachetana           8:15       Drama/Poem      The whole programme was based on awareness
                             PM                         in girl trafficking.
12 Mar   Interaction         8:35       Interaction/    The interaction programme stressed on the need
                             AM         Drama           to raise women's issues in the peace talks. In the
                                                        same programme, a drama related to human
                                                        rights focused on appropriate food and living
                                                        conditions for women victims.
13 Mar   Interaction         7,8,9,10   News            Stress on participation of women in the peace
         Programme           ,11 pm                     process - Narayan Singh Pun
14 Mar   News                7,8,9,10   News            Sancharika presents eight-point memorandum
                             11 pm                      regarding promotion of women in media to
                                                        Ramesh N. Pandey - Communications Minister
16 Mar   Akhabar             6:15 am    News            Quoting Rajdhani it was mentioned that two
                                                        women were rescued from trafficking.
16 Mar   News                7 am       News            Preparation of agenda against discrimination and
                                                        violence against women in the South Asian
                                                        Women Trade Union Conference held in
16 Mar   Good                7:30 am    Letter          Focused on giving attention to violence and
         Governance                                     trafficking of women.
16 Mar   Weekly activities   6:10 pm    News            Presentation of eight-point memorandum
                                                        regarding promotion of women in media by
                                                        Sancharika Samuha.
17 Mar   Akhabar             6:15 am    News            A murder of a girl who did not accept a marriage
                                                        proposal through chat - Kantipur.
17 Mar   Barabari            8:15 am    Programme       Focused on the fact that women did not have
         (Equality)                     on gender       rights to make decisions, even about their own
                                        equality        body.
 Date      Programme          Time          Type                             Subject
18 Mar   Today's Context     7:20 am    Suggestion      Suggestion to the Minister of Communication to
         (Aajako                                        stop the use of obscene words in the media.
18 Mar   Sachetana           8:15 pm    Programme       Trafficking programme - drama/poems
22 Mar   Drama               1:30 pm    Drama           Drama against alcohol abuse
22 Mar   News                3,5,6,     News            Stress to include women and children victims of
                      7:20 pm                    the Maoist conflict in the peace talks.
24 Mar   Barabari     8:15 pm   Equality         The programme revolved around the following
                                programme        issues:
                                                 Women's rights incorporated by the law
                                                 Equal wages to women after raising their voice
                                                 The programme also provided facilities of legal
                                                 treatment through correspondence
25 Mar   Sachetana    8:15 pm   Programme        Drama and poems against trafficking
                                on trafficking
26 Mar   News         6:30 pm   News             Establishment of temporary shelter in
                                                 Gaddachowki, Kanchanpur District by Maiti
27 Mar   News         7 pm      News             Interaction programme on victims of Maoist
                                                 conflict organized by NNAGT
29 Mar   Drama        1:30 pm   Drama            Focusing on forceful sexual contact by employer
1 Apr    Sachetana    8:15 pm   Programme        Interview with a trafficked victim and poems
2 Apr    Paridrasta   8:15 pm   Programme        Focusing on VAW and discriminations against
                                against VAW      women and rehabilitation of trafficked victims
3 Apr    Police       7:45 pm   Police news      Rescue of a girl and arrest of the person
         Programme              Drama            attempting to traffick the girl
                                                 Drama on trafficking
6 Apr    Akhabar      6:15 am   News             Last stage of the study report related to property
                                                 - Minister of Communication
7 Apr    News         7, 9 pm   News             Minister of Women, Children and Social
                                                 Welfare Gore B. Khapangi requested all to
                                                 support organizations such as Maiti Nepal in
                                                 ending trafficking of women
8 Apr    News         6:15 am   News             Minister Narayan Singh Pun stressed on the
                                                 participation of women in the peace process
8 Apr    Sachetana    8:15 pm   Programme        Interview, songs and poems
                                against          Rehabilitation activities of CARITAS and ABC
9 Apr    Akhabar      6:15      News             Stress on ending discriminatory practices against
9 Apr    Paridrasta   8:45 pm   Programme        The programme focused on the issue of abortion
                                against VAW      and VAW
12 Apr   Drama        1:30 pm   Drama            Focusing on marriage with women to look after
                                                 household work
3.       Nepal Television

3.1      Existing Trend

Nepal Television does not have a separate policy governing the coverage of news on women,
children, or people with disabilities. It is guided by the communication policy of His Majesty’s
Government, but in reality it is governed more by the policy undertaken by the ruling political
party or parties. The government’s communication policy does say that women and children’s
issues are a priority but in reality this is yet to be proven.
In the absence of a written policy of the state media to cover issues related to women, children,
the disabled, or other vulnerable sectors of the society, the management has the discretion to
decide the course of action and priority accorded to these issues.
So far, Nepal Television has dictated the rules of the game in this sector alone. The other
television network - Channel Nepal - is a cable television network with limited circulation, and
other channels are yet to make their debut. Looking at the gamut of NTV programmes, it is
clear that they have not lived up to the expectations of the people.
In the context of news coverage, NTV has given undue emphasis to portfolio news. The
tendency to conduct less research and cover more scheduled news through invitations received
through letters and fax has prevented the station from becoming competitive with the influx of
satellite channels.

3.2      Strengths

The following strengths of NTV have been identified:
§     NTV is a state owned media and issues and concerns raised by it immediately draws the
      attention of policy makers.
§     Despite its limitations, it is the best established station in Nepal accessible to the people of
      remote Nepal as well as Nepali expatriates via satellite, and hence its viewership is high.
§     With “Communication for Development” as its motto, development issues and those
      concerned with women, children and other sections of the society which require more
      attention can be better addressed to reach the largest chunk of population through NTV.
§     It is partially supported by the government which means that it need not be as profit-
      oriented as private TV stations. As a result, the concerns of the people, including social evils
      such as trafficking and other forms of violence, can be discussed with emphasis, even if
      there are no sponsors for the programme.
3.3      Weaknesses & Gaps

Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of NTV, the following remain its shortcomings:
§ As a government media it gives significant importance to minor activities of the cabinet
   members and the administration. It has been giving undue importance to formalities which
   are of no importance to other television media even if they are government-run
§     There is little culture to carry out research on specific themes and bring out a revealing
      programme or to bring out breaking news, unless it comes naturally.
§     This is blamed on limited resources and lack of interest.
§     Political intervention is one of the major causes of the poor performance of NTV. Unless and
      until the management and staff work seriously to bring about a substantial reform in
      production, political intervention is less likely to subside.

3.4      Analysis
The following analysis has been drawn from the monitoring of Nepal Television:
§     Superficial level of reporting - lack of in-depth and follow-up reporting.
§     There are no regular programmes on NTV related to trafficking and violence against women
      - the programmes are on ad-hoc basis if and when sponsors are available.
§     Women's issues are accorded low priority due to lack of adequate gender sensitivity at the
      decision-making level and the reporting level.
§     Very few percentage of women in the decision-making level.
§     Lack of integrated gender approach in all programmes.
§     Women are perpetuated more as victims of various forms of violence and crime rather than
      professionals having their own opinion.

3.5      Recommendations
Despite large claims, women's issues have not been given priority as revealed by the low profile
coverage of news stories and programmes. One of the major problems for this is that the news
crew and production crew are not sensitized about the day to day problems that women are
facing right under their nose and these problems are not focused on as important issues.
The NTV management does emphatically say that women's issues, including trafficking and
violence committed against them, are prioritized. In reality however, the degree of coverage is
far too little. It is clear that an understanding of the problems faced by women is discerned by
only a few. It is strongly recommended that media bodies like Sancharika organize trainings
and workshops for news crew and producers, to critically understand the issues that need to be
given a wide coverage and understand what it means to be gender unbiased while covering the
news and at all other times.
As has been observed from past experiences, NTV has not taken strong initiatives to conduct
research and carry out stories on women's issues which naturally calls for the Women
Communicators Group, women activists and women organisations to organise more and more
interactive programmes and workshops to apprise the media persons about the issues needing
special attention from the media section. In the one and a half month long monitoring of NTV
programmes and news, the issue of women trafficking was covered only once on March 1 because an
interaction programme was jointly organised by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social
Welfare, UNDP and National Programme against Women Trafficking. It can be said with
precision that more of such programmes would be a wake up call to media organisations.
International Women’s Day comes at a fortunate time to cast light on women's issues but after
the day is observed amidst a variety of functions, the coverage on women's issues sharply
declines. In order to make the most of International Women’s Day it is believed that women
representing different professional backgrounds jointly organise a seminar to assess the
effectiveness of Women’s Day every year.
There is a pressing need to produce more thematic documentaries on women's issues. The
copyright of the documentary could be shared between the television station and organisation
which produces the documentary, increasing the possibility for television station to air the
documentary during unspecified time.

3.6    Media Trend

A striking example is given below to illustrate the customary practice of covering hierarchical

Gayatri/ Swami Prapanacharya
With a view to popularising the Gayatri mantra and promoting spiritual wisdom, a training programme
began in Kathmandu today.
The five day free training was organised by member of the Raj Parishad Standing Committee Dr. Swami
Organisers say trainees will be given lessons on Yoga, music and art of performing rituals.
Organised by Akhil Bishwo Gayatri Parivar, Sukdev Sharma of Shantikunj Haridwar in India and other
speakers spoke about the importance of Gayatri Mantra.

Gaytari mantra may be important in preserving the Vedic practices but compared to the
harrowing problems that some women are facing due to prevalent socio-economic and political
oppression, the importance of the Gayatri mantra could not be matched.
Trafficking and crimes on humanity such as rape make box news in newspapers but NTV
hardly covers such news, neither does it dispatch its stringer reporters to go to the venue of the
incident nor directs them to cover such news. NTV's disregard towards women's issues is
illustrated by the fact that no news coverage has been accorded to heinous crimes against
women in the past six months.
On the basis of the news coverage, the following topics were tentatively categorised to make the
assessment of priority and to understand the focus of Nepal Television.

Date      Palace     PM         Business       Child        Culture    Health   Army     Intern'l   Sport
                   Ministers    Economy        women        Entertai   Edu./    Police    News
                   Politics    Agriculture    Violence       nment     Others
1 Mar       2         3             1             1            1         1        1         5         2
2 Mar                  9           1                           1         3        1         3         1
3 Mar                  9           1                           1         4        2         4         3
4 Mar                 11           1           2 Safe          1         3        1         5         2
                                               + ILO
5 Mar       3         6            1                                     4                  3
6 Mar       2         2            1                           1         6        1         2         1
7 Mar       1         6            2           1 SNV                     5                  4         2
8 Mar                 3                        12 Int'l                  2                  3         3
9 Mar                  6           1         No follow up                2                  3         2
10 Mar      3         10           1                                                        3         1
11 Mar                 5                                                 6        1         3         2
12 Mar                 5           2                                     6                  4         1
13 Mar                 5           1                                     1                  4         2
14 Mar      3          5           1         2 Sancharika                6                  3         2
                                              Police cell
15 Mar      1         4            1                                     2        2         7         4
16 Mar
17 Mar                9                                                  5                  5         3
18 Mar                5                                      2 Holi      3        1         3         2
19 Mar      1         3            1                           1         4                  3         3
20 Mar      2         9                                                  4                  3         1
21 Mar      3         4            2                           1         1        4         3         2
22 Mar      1         7            2                                     4                  2         1
23Mar       1         4            1                           1         1        4         3         2
24 Mar      1         5            2                                     3                  1         1
25 Mar      2         6                                                  3        1         1
26 Mar      2         7                       1 Gyaeno                            1         3
27 Mar      1         6                                        2         3                  1
28 Mar      1         4                                        1         4                  1
29 Mar      3         6                                                  3                  1
30 Mar      1         4            2                           1         3        1         1
31 Mar      3         2            1          1 Women                    2                  1
1/2 Apr     2         2            3           1 Child                   6                  1
3 Apr       2         6            1                                     3                  1
4 Apr       3         3            1                                     2                  2
Date     Palace     PM         Business      Child          Culture    Health   Army     Intern'l   Sport
                  Ministers    Economy      women           Entertai   Edu./    Police    News
                  Politics    Agriculture   Violence         nment     Others
5 Apr      1         5             1                           1         3                  1
6 Apr      3         7                                                   4        1         2
7 Apr      1         5            1         2 Maiti Nepal                4                  1         1
8 Apr      1         6                                         1         5                  2
9 Apr                3            2                            1         5        1         1         1
10 Apr               3            1                            1         6                  2         1
11 Apr     2         3            1                            4                            4         2
12 Apr               3                                         1         8        1         2
13 Apr               5            1                                      1                  2
14 Apr     1                                1 Girl Child       4         2                  2

The table above is the outline of prime time bulletin which is mostly dominated by political
news. Other news bulletins cover women's issues slightly more than the prime time bulletin but
the question is that prime time bulletin coverage should be far better than this. It is definitely a
grim reminder of how pathetic is the coverage of women issues on the state owned Nepal
Television. The coverage of Nepal television on the issue of trafficking and other social evils
that women are made to bear comes down to less than 1%.
Except for the International Women’s Day week, NTV coverage on women is far too negligible.
The management of Nepal Television make verbal commitments that women's issues and other
issues are given importance and are covered with priority.
The existing pattern reveals that Nepal Television hardly assigns any reporter to conduct
research stories on women's issues. News on women's issues come out only when the civil
society organises workshops, seminars and public hearing programmes on the plight of women.
Beyond doubt it is the weakness of Nepal Television that many acts of abuse and violence
against women remain uncovered. However, women organisations could help facilitate the
coverage by organising more workshops, symposiums and seminars and interaction
programmes to awake broadcast stations and publication houses.

The programme sector was not better in giving due importance to highlight issues and concerns
of women. Documentaries based on the hardships borne by women at home and at other places
were shown especially on Women’s Day and the next day but it was unfortunate that the slot
was not prime time. Not a single special discussion programme was organized or aired even on
Women’s Day.
However, issues revolving around social malpractices against women were given some
importance as is seen from the number of documentaries telecast during that period.

Date         Programme                    Topic                        Type           Air Time
3 Mar    Sankalpa             What are women's problems         Talk Show          Afternoon/30 min
4 Mar    Jagriti              Superstition and Witch            Weekly Talk Show   Prime Time/30
5 Mar    Archive              Safe future for child labor       Documentary        Late Night/45 min
6 Mar    Thorai Bhaya Puge    Care for pregnant women           Public awareness   Prime/25 min
         Sari                                                   serial
7 Mar    Archive              If there is no security at home   Documentary        Prime/25 min
                              Safe maternity                    Documentary        40 min
8 Mar    Archive              Safe maternity                    Documentary        Afternoon/40 min
                              If there is no security at home   Documentary        Late Night/25 min
9 Mar    Paapi Raat           Evil motive at night              Tele-serial        Prime/30 min
10 Mar   Sankalpa             Importance of Women's Day         Talk Show          Afternoon/30 min
14 Mar   Archive              Secure Future                     Documentary        Late Night/27.40
15 Mar   Thorai Bhaye Puge    Health of pregnant woman          Tele-serial        Prime/30 min

The International Women’s Day week saw a quite a lot of programmes focusing on women's
issues. Except for Jagriti aired in the evening and Sankalpa aired in the afternoon, there are very
few programmes that bring out women's issues. There has been a pressing need for producing
new programmes to sketch the successes of women and to encourage more women to excel in
their field. News based current affairs programme did not take any initiative to find women
leaders to assess the status of women and to discuss the challenges lying ahead but it was the
current affairs programme FOCUS in English which had Kamala Bista of SNV speaking as the
Guest of the Week and sharing her thoughts on the significance of Women’s Day.

Stark Revelation
’A woman was battered and bruised and was made to eat human excrete in Parsa recently by the villagers
in the name of being a ‘witch’. I was grieved at heart to read the story in the broadsheet and instantly
thought of going to Parsa with the belief that I would come with a scoop for Nepal Television. I asked for
permission with the Chief News Editor to give a special coverage to the incident by digging into the story
but to my dismay the offer was fizzled out. The Chief News Editor said it was a common problem in many
parts of terai and the incident had already come out in paper and wouldn’t make such revealing news.’
                                  Reporter of NTV* (name withheld on request)
4.       Print Media

4.1      Existing Trend
The monitoring of the print media from 1st March to 14th April 2003 reveals that the print
media has given much prominence to women's issues in comparison to Radio Nepal. A total of
17 materials related to trafficking were published in the print media. This number does not take
into account the same news published by various newspapers. There were only four feature
articles on trafficking and most of the publications were brief news or reporting of programmes.
There were three news reports which published the names and addresses of girls who were
nearly trafficked. In the media monitoring conducted by Sancharika, it has been noticed that
newspapers frequently publish the names and addresses of the victims of trafficking which
generally tends to further victimize such victims. Regarding activities, a total of 9 interaction
programmes, workshops, discussion programmes, rally and anniversary was reported by the
media. Among these, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW), UNDP
Task Force and Joint Initiatives against Trafficking (JIT) were the major implementers of the
Regarding violence against women, a total of 62 news articles were published relating to witch
accusation and domestic violence during the period. Among these, three news related
publications were given priority as anchor news on the first page. Approximately 19 women
were reported to have died due to some form of violence during the period. A total of 9 articles
related to VAW were published by the media. Most of the other reportings were brief news of
incidents of violence. There were only two interaction programmes slightly related to VAW
reported by the media. One was on discriminatory laws and its impact on women and the other
was on the role of the civil society regarding women and children victims of armed conflict.
The following conclusions can be drawn from the above media trend:
§     There was much less reporting on both trafficking and VAW during the period.
§     The trend to publish names and addresses of victims of trafficking still exists.
§     There were very few programmes implemented during the period.
§     The media has not given much priority to providing space to articles related to women's

Other forms of violence such as rape, witch accusation, and women in armed conflict were also
reported by the media. The media also published news of various workshops, seminars and
programmes related to trafficking and VAW implemented by various organizations. A large
number of organizations celebrated March 8th as the "93rd International Women's Day" and the
media gave much coverage to the functions. Also, a large number of articles and editorials were
published to mark the day. The other highlight during the period was articles and editorials
published on the role of women in the peace process and the plight of widows due to the
Maoist conflict.
Many articles were also published on women's health, especially on the complications after
Although only a few of these publications were given priority on the first page, the number of
materials that were published shows that there has been an increase in reporting on women-
related issues in comparison to the past.
4.2      Strengths
The following strengths of the print media have been identified:
§     Effective in raising awareness instantly among the general public.
§     A very effective tool for advocacy at the policy level.
§     Easy to maintain records for monitoring and evaluation.

4.3      Weaknesses & Gaps
The following weaknesses of the print media were identified by the analysis:
§     Lack of follow-up reporting of incidents.
§     The trend to publish names and addresses of victims of trafficking is still practiced.
§     Lack of media policies and code of conduct that upholds the women's rights and the rights
      of women working in the media.
§     Lack of adequate resources for programmes on trafficking and other forms of violence.
§     Domination of political and sensational reporting.
§     Violation of women's rights by the media leading to further victimization of victims.
§     The voices of rural women have no access to the mainstream media.
§     Absence of policies for monitoring and evaluation

The following conclusions have been drawn from the monitoring of the print media during the
§     None of the cases on trafficking were given first page priority, neither were there any
      editorials published during this period.
§     Only one incident of domestic violence was given first page priority and there were no
      editorials on violence during this period.
§     There was a total of 15 deaths due to domestic violence and most of them were related to
      sexual harassment.
§     Most of the rape victims were young girls and in most cases they had been raped by their
      own relatives.
§     During this period, violence due to witch accusation was given much priority by the media
      and some of the materials have been published on the first page.
4.4      Analysis
The print media has definitely improved in their reporting of women's issues in comparison to
the past. The following analysis has been drawn from the monitoring during the period:
§ There is still a need for gender sensitization among reporters.
§     In most cases, one reporter is assigned to various issues which may create confusion due to
      lack of clarity and knowledge of the particular subject. It is best to assign a particular
      reporter to a certain beat.
§     Training and capacity building of reporters needs to be enhanced.
§     Most of the media organizations are poorly equipped and have minimum facilities. INGOs
      and NGOs can support the reporters by providing information through their own channels.

4.5      Recommendations

The following recommendations and suggestions have been identified for print media:
§     A need to generate awareness and sensitize the people at the decision-making level (editors,
      chief editors, etc.,) and the journalists.
§     Encourage the involvement of women in decision-making at all levels and achieve gender
      balance in the appointment of women.
§     Develop effective policies and implement programmes including educational programmes,
      on changing stereotypical attitude and behaviours concerning women's issues.
§      Strengthen efforts to fully implement national action plans developed for the
      implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action and when necessary adjust or develop
      national plans for the future.
§     Provide national machinery with the necessary human and financial resources including
      through exploring innovative funding schemes so that women's issues are integrated in all
      policies, programs and projects.

4.6      Media Trend

4.6.1    Trafficking
   Date                    Title                 Newspaper           Type       Author
3 March       Girl Trafficking: Social Issue   Charcha          Article      Yam B. Nepal
6 March       A girl who was nearly            Nepal            News
              trafficked returns safely        Samacharpatra    (Negative)
11 March      85 girls have been trafficked    Annapurna Post   News
              from Sindhupalchowk since
              the last 37 years
12 March      500 women rescued by             Kathmandu        News Brief
              Maiti Nepal in 2 years           Post
              (women were mainly from
              Dolkha, Jhapa, Ilam, Sunsari
              and Bhojpur)
   Date                    Title                 Newspaper          Type        Author
16 March      Two women rescued                Kantipur         News Brief
                                               (Page 1)         (Negative)
16 March     Team visits Bangladesh                            News Brief
             (12 days of study visit by 28
             members of HIMRIGHTS-
             INHURED and PLAN
16 March     When will human                  Chalphal         Article       Mamata Giri
             trafficking stop ?
20 March     Guardians themselves hide        Nepal            Article       Ram K. Alan
             the fact of the                  Samacharpatra
             disappearance of their
21 March     200 women rescued                The Himalayan    News
22 March     6 Nepali girls are trafficked    Himalaya Times   News
             to India on a daily basis                         (Workshop)
22 March     Human trafficking grips          The Himalayan    News
             more districts                                    (Workshop)
22 March     Rescued trafficked women         Kathmandu        News
             face tough challenges            Post             (Workshop)
23 March     On the pretext of finding a      Rajdhani         News Brief
29 March     Only a few cases of girl         Kantipur         News
             trafficking goes to the court                     (Workshop)
30 March     A priest who attempted to        Gorkhapatra      News
             traffick his own wife behind                      (negative)
3 April      Women's network in the           Gorkhapatra      News
             east effective in controlling
             women and girl trafficking
4 April      Decline in reporting cases of    Spacetime        News
             girl trafficking
8 April      The tale and agony of girl       Nirdesh          Article       Suraj Dahal
11 April     Advocates acknowledge the        Rajdhani         News
             fact that the real culprits of
             girl trafficking have not
             been identified
11 April     A husband nearly takes his       Kantipur         News
             wife to India for trafficking

   Date                                Title                          Organization
1 March       Discussion programme to control trafficking of      MOWCSW/JIT/UNDP
              girls (Bhairawa)
5 March       Interaction programme on "Formulating Strategies    MOWCSW/JIT/UNDP
              against girl trafficking"

   Date                            Title                                Organization
13 March      Two day workshop on "Control of trafficking, safe   JIT/Nuwakot
              migration and the role of government and non-
               government organizations"
27 March       Regional Workshop in Biratnagar                      PLAN, Nepal and Women
               "Biratnagar declaration against human trafficking"   Rehabilitation Center, Nepal
28 March       Two day workshop on "Theoretical clarity of          Nepal Human Rights
               human trafficking and strategy and human rights      Organization/MOWCSW/JIT
               measurement of the behaviour towards the
2 April        Workshop on "Role of VDC level organizations         Initiated by PLAN Nepal
               against human trafficking"                           Morang/Sunsari Programme
               (Biratnagar)                                         and Women Rehabilitation
                                                                    Centre, Biratnagar
8 April        Rally celebrating 'Girl Trafficking Day'             Maiti Nepal
10 April       Inauguration of the First General Meeting of         Movement against girl
               Movement against girl trafficking and child sexual   trafficking and child sexual
               exploitation - Sindhupalchowk                        exploitation - district
                                                                    committee, Sindhupalchowk
7 April        10th Anniversary function of Maiti Nepal             Maiti Nepal

4.6.2     Other Forms of Violence Against Women
   Date                     Title                Newspaper           Type            Author
1 March       A family seeks justice from      Kantipur         Anchor News       Bhim Ghimire
              the court for torture on                          (Page 1)
              witch accusation
1 March       Report of murder by              Spacetime        News Brief
              husband and mother-in-law
1 March       The government plans for a       Spacetime        Anchor News
              separate relief package for                       (Page 1)
              women         and     children
              victims of violence
1 March       Both the hands were tied         Annapurna Post   Article           Raj Kumar
              and she was beaten till she                       (investigative)   Dikpal
2 March       Ram Maya who was                 Rajdhani         News
              tortured by her father-in-
              law seeks justice at the
              district administration
3 March       A      social     organization   Nepal            Article           Ganesh
              against VAW                      Samacharpatra                      Sampang
3 March       Women victimized more by         Nepal            News
              educated men                     Samacharpatra
3 March       Divorce cases on rise in         The Himalayan    News
              Kathmandu (220 during last
              6 months)
4 March       A woman commits suicide          Nepal            News Brief
              by burning herself               Samacharpatra
4 March       Wife injured by addict           Kantipur         News Brief
   Date                     Title                Newspaper         Type              Author
5 March       99% of the cases file in the     Annapurna Post   News              Asha Giri
              Women's Commission are
           related to VAW
7 March    8 women including a           Spacetime        News
           pregnant woman beaten by
           the police
8 March    Daughters are being           Kantipur         Article              Krishna Murari
           exchanged for buffaloes                                             Bhandari
10 March   20 years imprisonment to      Saanghu          Follow-up
           wife murderer                                  news
10 March   Women battered on             Nepal            News Brief
           International Women's Day     Samacharpatra
10 March   13 people of the same         Kantipur         Anchor News          Harsha Subba
           village tortured on witch                      (Sunsari)
           accusation in the past 8                       (Page 1)
11 March   A HIV AIDS victim finds a     Rajdhani         Article      (with   Bishnu Sharma
           loving husband                                 photo)
11 March   A man flees after murdering   Spacetime        News
           his wife and son
11 March   A woman murdered -            Spacetime        News
           family claim that she was
           murdered by her husband
           and father-in-law
14 March   Mental torture on witch       Kantipur         News
           accusation                                     (Sindhuli)
14 March   Torture on witch accusation   Rajdhani         News
14 March   Wife murdered in a small      Nepal            News
           squabble                      Samacharpatra
15 March   Arrest of a person who        Himalaya Times   News
           murdered his wife
16 March   6 children become orphans     Kantipur         News
           after their father murders
           his wife and goes to prison
16 March   88 persons committed          Himalaya Times   News Brief
           suicide in 7 months in the
           Eastern Development
17 March   A man murders his sister-     Nepal            News
           in-law                        Samacharpatra
17 March   Alcohol and dowry ban         Spacetime        News Brief
19 March   A policeman attempts to       Rajdhani         News
           murder his wife
19 March   If my husband did not         Spacetime        Article              Tara Aryal
           torture me, I would take
           care of my children even
           working off the streets
20 March   Girl commits suicide after    Kathmandu        News
           10 days of marriage           Post
   Date                 Title              Newspaper          Type                Author
20 March   Battering of a pregnant       Spacetime        New Brief
20 March   A newly married girl            Rajdhani        News Brief
           commits suicide
20 March   A girl commits suicide by       Rajdhani        News Brief
20 March   A pregnant women beaten         Rajdhani        News Brief
22 March   A 13 year old girl takes        Gorkhapatra     News
           poison after she is unable to
           marry her loved one
23 March   A blind girl is always kept     Kantipur        News with    Ishwori
           tied up                                         photo        Neupane
23 March   Social boycott of a principal   Nepal           News Brief
           who tortures his wife           Samacharpatra
23 March   A woman beaten by her           Gorkhapatra     News
           own as well as the police
23 March   A youth gets arrested for       Kantipur        News
           murdering his lover
23 March   Suicide after conflict with     Kantipur        News
24 March   Murder of second wife           Nepal           News
24 March   E-chat, love, marriage          Nepal           News
           proposal and murder             Samacharpatra
24 March   A mother-in-law commits         Nepal           News brief
           suicide after her daughter-     Samacharpatra
           in-law scold her
25 March   A girl gets murdered by her     Kantipur        News
           own father and brother
26 March   Mother commits suicide as       Rising Nepal    News
           son weds without her
26 March   Woman seeks justice against     Rising Nepal    News
           beating, fraud
27 March   Discriminatory laws against     Gorkhapatra     Article      Giridhari
           women                                                        Dahal
29 March   Divorce filed against a         Nepal           News
           husband who beat his wife       Samacharpatra
           after drinking
30 March   20% women die young due         Nepal           Article      Ram Dhami
           to Chaupadi tradition           Samacharpatra
31 March   Jari tradition which has not    Gorkhapatra     Article      Basanta Bhusal
           become an agenda of the
1 April    A woman commits suicide         Nepal           News
           due to husband's torture        Samacharpatra
1 April    Domestic Violence: A major      Kathmandu       Article      Sangeeta Rijal
           cause of increasing divorce     Post

   Date               Title                  Newspaper          Type        Author
2 April    'Witch-hunters' strike again    Kathmandu       News
                                           Post            (Sindhuli)
3 April      A woman who is tortured         Rajdhani        News
             by her own son and
8 April      A son murders his mother        Spacetime       News
8 April      A person who murdered his       Spacetime       News
             pregnant wife is sent to
9 April      Imprisonment for                Kantipur        News Brief
             murdering pregnant wife
10 April     An unborn child dies due to     Nepal           News
             battering of the mother         Samacharpatra
10 April     Torture on witch accusation     Nepal           News Brief
11 April     Torture on witch accusation     Nepal           News
                                             Samacharpatra   (Dhangahdi)
11 April     Wife injured by her             Rajdhani        News Brief
14 April     Arrest of a man 4 years after   Gorkhapatra     News
             he murdered his wife

   Date                               Title                              Organization
15 March      Interaction Programme on "Discriminatory Laws        FNJ, MGEP/UNDP
              Against Women and its Impact on Women"
              (Kathmandu and Dang)
27 March      Interaction programme on "Responsibility of the      NNAGT
              civil society regarding women and children victims
              of the armed conflict"
5.     Conclusion
Violence and trafficking of women for flesh trade or forced labour in the 21st century continues
to blot the human civilization but has not prevented the people from committing crimes against
women. This has remained a problem for ages and the continuation of the same is an evidence
that concerted efforts have been far too short in rooting out the disdainful practice of treating
women as second rate sex object. In the context of the media, the following are the main reasons
for the downplay of women's issues in the mainstream media.
Although the convergence of new media technologies and influx of private media organisations
in the last decade has increased the number of women working in both print and electronic
media, women have not yet gained parity with men in terms of participation and decision-
making. Top management is still entirely male-dominated and patriarchal with only a
negligible number of women holding senior positions. Although women have become more
visible particularly in radio and television as presenters, announcers and reporters, the gender
division of labour is highly pronounced in production, creative and technical departments,
which are male dominated.
The presence of women is also absent in any official commissions, boards or committees formed
for formulating policies or monitoring the media. Recently, as a result of strong advocacy from
women journalists for the first time a woman has been appointed from the quota of
professionals as member of the Board of Directors of state owned Radio Nepal.
New ICTs have emerged that provide opportunities to share information and resources, and
link and network with each other faster. But women's presence in this new communication
space still lags far behind. Access to this new medium is particularly difficult for women in
poorer and less urbanised areas where telecommunications infrastructures are poor and
unaffordable. Lack of skills, training and language accessibility also serves as major deterrents.
In the past few years there has been a comparatively improved and increased reportage of
issues related to women in the print media. News related to women though still marginal has
started to occasionally occupy important slots like the editorial, feature news, front-page news,
etc. However, women's visibility in the news is still dominated by sensational stories of rape,
sexual harassment, domestic violence and other forms of violence. Such portrayals have only
served to reinforce rather than challenge men's suppression of women.
With increased voices and protests from active women's groups some of media's negative
portrayal and representation of women have become quite subtle and insidious in the last few
years. However, it is still rare that the media present women as contributors to the development
process or as professionals in their own field. They are still predominantly portrayed as being
victim, subservient, dependent, nurturing, selfless, sacrificing mother and wife, sex object,
prostitute or mistress. The lack of a truly gender-sensitive appreciation and analysis of women's
issues by both men and women in media has allowed exploitative and derogatory images of
women in media to continue. Violation of women's rights by many media still persists as is
evidenced by the recent Srisha Karki incident. Srisha committed suicide unable to bear the
torture inflicted on her by the media.
The Press Council is supposed to be the official monitoring body for any violation of media
code of conduct but it usually addresses general media issues and has not exhibited any serious
attention to improving media's portrayal and representation of women. Also there is no woman
member in the Press Council.
Where earlier it was almost impossible to find a woman reporting on politics and economy now
few young women have emerged who are reporting on such issues. However, the gender
division of labour is still very much evident in the way coverage of stories is assigned in most
media organisations. Women still tend to be assigned to "soft issues" such as culture, art,
lifestyle while men are assigned to political and economic stories which are considered more as
"real issues."
Although the number of women entering media is increasing, stereotyped attitudes, sexual
harassment, salary differences, unfair treatment in assignments and promotions, traditional
gender hierarchies, lack of support mechanisms for working women pose as obstacles that
hinder women from joining the media or assuming decision-making positions. Though there
has been no authentic research to justify the fact many have felt that the widespread cases of
sexual harassment within media organisations has been a means to control and exclude women
from occupying key positions in the industry.
ANNEX:        Examples of Publications that came out in the Print Media

The girl shown in the picture was trafficked to Mumbai and she stayed in a brothel for four
years. She contacted HIV/AIDS and was returned back to her country. The man in the picture
married the girl with full knowledge of what she had and at the moment the girl is working for
an NGO called General Welfare Academy in rasing awareness on safe sex and HIV/AIDS.
The 43 year old lady shown in the picture was badly tortured by her own husband and his
second wife inside Kathmandu Valley. She was saved by a woman residing in the same building
complex. She already has two grown-up children.