Orientation on access to information at Kathmandu University
Media Action Nepal (MAN) in association with UNESCO and Media Studies Program of Kathmandu University organized an orientation program among media students on April 28 to mark World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).
Dean of School of Arts of Kathmandu University Mahesh Banskota, Chairperson of Press Council Nepal Borna Bahadur Karki, Chairperson of MAN Laxman Datt Pant, UNESO RTI Project Coordinator JB Biswokarma, General Manager of Nepal Television Laxman Humagain and Coordinator of Media Studies Program of Kathmandu University Dr. Nirmala Mani Adhikary delivered their speech about the importance of freedom of speech and expression.
Dr. Adhikary welcomed the participants and shed light on the importance of celebrating WPFD. He said such orientation programs would help students to increase their knowledge.
MAN Chairperson Pant presented a paper highlighting the activities being carried out by MAN, status of implementation of RTI laws in Nepal, and how RTI could be used for the investigative journalism. Dean Banskota underscored the need of imparting objective and factual information by the media to empower the people. Other guests also highlighted the importance of WPFD and various aspects of freedom of speech and expression.
Chairperson of Press Council Nepal Borna Bahadur Karki said RTI is a supporting tool to ensure freedom of speech and expression. He informed that Press Council Nepal is working to promote healthy journalism through the promotion of code of ethics for journalists. JB Bisowokarma of UNESCO presented a paper about the implementation of RTI laws, its loopholes, and use of RTI for the journalistic purpose and some international cases on how RTI has helped to maintain accountability and transparency.
General Manager of Nepal Television Laxman Humagain shed light on the importance of RTI laws. Humagain highlighted that how RTI would help to ensure other rights in the society.
Altogether 54 students participated in the interaction, and there was inclusive participation. After the experts presented their views and opinion, there was intensive discussion about the various aspects of RTI, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and other fundamental rights of the people. Students asked about the implementation of RTI, role of press council and about the classification of information.