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Development of Media in Nepal and Nepalese Women

Focuses on the development of media in Nepal and participation of women in Nepalese media.

The evolution of mass media in Nepal 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 which 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 participation of women in Nepalese journalism is relative not so old. In the year 2008 B.S., after the publication of monthly magazine “Mahila” women’s participation in Nepalese media was observed. Sadhana Pradhan and Kamakshya Devi were editors, for the magazine. Since then some women were seen as editors for weekly and monthly magazines.

Towards the electronic media in Nepal, Radio Nepal is the pioneer radio station which has started broadcasting in 1951. Television media is considered as new technology that was started in the year 1985. After the establishment of Nepal Television in 1985 (2041 B.S.), the participation of women media communicators was noticed and has increased remarkably by now. The restoration of democracy in 2006 has paved the way for the development of media in Nepal. After the establishment of numerous, private newspapers, FM stations and private television channels, women’s participation in media has been increased.

But it is realized that participation of women in the media sector is not yet at the satisfactory level with respect to the rapid development of media in Nepal.

At present, there are around 4000 papers and half a dozen of television stations that air their programmers from within the Nepalese border whereas more than 60 FM radios are into existence at present in the entire nation. But new media is still limited in number.

In present context as well, women’s participation in decision-making level is negligible. In spite of the change in media environment after democracy, visible improvement in terms of women’s participation and gender mainstreaming in media is yet to be achieved. Top management or decision-making level is still male dominated and influenced by patriarchal perception with negligible number of women holding senior positions. It is noticed that few young women journalists who have emerged in reporting field are still tend to be assigned to “soft issues” such as culture, art and lifestyles but not “hard issues” like politics, conflict, security, economy etc. But those women who are reporting such “hard issues” are performing excellent.

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