KATHMANDU: Active journalists working at the mainstream media have pointed out that the issues of human rights of Dalit community are not covered by Nepali media as much as they expected.
The journalists participating at the follow up training for the working journalists on Dalit human rights issues at Kathmandu on Tuesday have said media could not include the issues of Dalits because they don’t understand the sensitivity and seriousness of their issues.
They stressed that since the media were focused only on incident based reporting the issues of Dalit human rights could not get necessary space. They also said that Dalit issues donot get necessary space because the media were also discriminatory. Participants speaking at the function pointed out that lack of inclusive structure at some media, lack of proper editorial policy, lack of sensitivity on the Dalit issues and lack of clarity on such issues were some reasons behind less coverage.
To ensure better coverage of issues of Dalit and other marginalized communities there is a need to develop the skills of the existing Dalit journalists and their increase their physical presence at the newsrooms.
During the rejuvenating training one of the trainers Dr. Kundan Aryal said presence of Dalit journalists at different media would make a greate difference. He stressed on the need to sensitize media on the issues like socio-cultural, inclusiveness and Dalit human rights among others. He also said that the existing journalists should develop their skills in such a way that they could join both the state-owned and private professional media of the country. Stating that the media should see through the eyes of the society Aryal said the media should initiate a campaign on ethics, human communication, social network and against the discriminations.
The former media advisor to former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli Aryal said journalists should write in such a way that could affect the government by creating an opinion through ample study and necessary visits. He raised various aspects in covering Dalit issues including the need of a pressure group to increase coverage of Dalit issues in media.
Addressing the same function central committee member of Federation of Nepali Journalist Prakash Dhaulakoti, who is with the political bureau of Naya Patrika, said there were several issues of Dalit community which media could raise. Citing his experience of reporting he said there was a lack of journalists reporting issues like people not getting proper treatment, lack of necessary amount of money for treatment, Dalits not getting vaccination among many others. He also pointed out that many media had portrayed Rupa Sunar as criminal instead in the recent incident of caste-based discrimination.
General secretary of Jagaran Media Centre Bhim Ghimire and its treasurer Sushil Darnal focused on skill development and physical presence of Dalit journalists at newsrooms. As many as 20 journalists were present at the training.