Baseline study on ‘preventing disinformation and misinformation’

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KATHMANDU: By deviating from ethical and responsible journalism and code of conduct, journalists in Nepal are only aiding the efforts of those who wish to stifle media freedom. The Press Council of Nepal (PCN), which regulates the content of print media primarily for enforcing the Code of Journalistic Ethics, received 676 complaints (including self-monitoring) against media until July, 2019.

These complaints made against and by the media is an overall reflection of the environment in which Nepalese media operates and justify the need for urgent interventions for winning back the public’s confidence in media by preventing disinformation and misinformation.

Public grievances against journalists and media are many. The serious ones include disinformation and misinformation, unverified accusations, botched facts and figures, plagiarism, ideological bias, and the misuse of press power for intimidation, personal vendetta and extortion. Erosion of the basic tenets in the day to day practice of journalism, no wonder, is resulting in a growing call for some form of exam for entry into the field of journalism just as is mandatory in other professions.

With an aim to stimulate exchange of both theoretical and practical knowledge among journalists to encourage the media to be more accurate and credible by preventing disinformation and misinformation, Media Action Nepal -has started with a baseline survey on Nepalese media. The study report of 11 daily newspapers and 20 online portals of provinces 1, 3 and 5 will be published by the end of January, 2020.