I saw an interview of Namrata Shrestha published in an online magazine Ujyalo Online. The title looked interesting but, I later realized that it was totally deceiving. After reading the whole interview, I felt I was cheated by the website.
Do deceiving titles work in online media?
The title, when translated, reads "My character represents the current generation – Namrata Shrestha"
UPDATE: The threat materialized on the Friday’s edition of Kantipur. Although the photo of the Twitter user is not used, they have published the name and designation of another Twitter user. They even went ahead to complain the boss of the KETO (means – “little boy” in Nepali).
Oh My God… this is unthinkable! And, it is happening in Nepal!
The journalists of one of the leading publication in Nepal, Kantipur were threatening one of the Twitter users – telling:
“We are going to publish your name/photo in story along w/ur death-threat..” (Let’s make a deal otherwise) “.. respond to our question…”.
And the “death threat” reads – “if *** were in front of me he would have been the second one to die.” (Attached below)
Does a death threat starts with an “IF” ?
Now, we need to understand the pretext before jumping into conclusion. Why Prabhat had to be so angry in the first place. He wrote an article in aakarpost saying (translation):
I had always asked them not to publish my Twitter post. They acted as if their 1 million readers won’t buy their newspaper if my Tweet are not published. Then, when I asked the reason for such an action, they ignored me. When I got angry they came back to threaten me.
The issue of people being unhappy of the publication of Twitter post was being debated for some time. It was everybody’s relief that, the week before they even told that – only Twitter posts mentioning @HelloShukrabar will be publish (see the unhonored announcement below).
In sharp contrast to their own announcement, the publication came as a surprise with purely personal and useless collection of twitter post (a copy at the end). The result:
- @nepaldiary – got fired due to the publication of his post in Kantipur daily. Please refer his comment in this post.
- @PR4BH4T – was threatened and forced to quit Twitter (link posted above)
- @webg0ru – got fed up and left Twitter based on the behavior of the journalists
- @nepaleeidiot – left Twitter feeling awkward
- @schwafnil – left Twitter, saying “I don’t hold the responsibility of clarifying anyone of my thoughts or motives behind publishing a certain tweet.”
In response to the job loss of @nepaldiary, because of the Twitter post published in Kantipur, the journalists have quoted a proverb sounding like “you got what you deserve.”
@nepaleeidiot’s response before leaving Twitter:
After all these events, our journalists are feeling the proudness of winning the debate – teaching the “incompetents” the lesson.
#tweetdebate is also to be blamed
I think, it was a mistake to choose the title of the debate – “Sneaking Journalism”. That title itself gave negative message to the journalist and they started taking the “defensive stance”. The logic couldn’t penetrate the defensive shield and hence the debate turned out to be one-sided.
The Twitter section in Friday edition of Kantipur daily when Bryan Adams performed the concert in Kathmandu. The Twitter post was really nice and to the point. It was nice to read and feel good about it. But, what followed was the disaster. Here is the recent publication that was the cause of all this out roar:
This is the third post I have written about publication of Twitter in a National Daily (hoping this to be the last). Previous posts were:
The disclaimer: This is my personal view and I don’t necessarily endorse all the views of the linked articles. I don’t know anybody involved, in person, and I don’t have anything against the journalist or the Twitter posters.
The #tweetdebate of last Friday was interesting and it involved the gray area between the legal and ethical boundaries ! The main issue of the debate was that Kantipur, in it’s Friday special (Hello Shukrabar), was publishing unauthorized twitter posts, that were not meant for wider circulation.
I appreciate the journalists of Kantipur who took their time to answer few of the questions. It was in stark contrast to my previous experience of getting a third-grade-citizen-like treatments. Although they never answered the main questions raised in the debate it was a step in the positive direction.
One of the Twitter user sent me this cut of the Kantipur’s publication to explain why he is against them publishing tweets of a general public.
Note: This article follows the previous article – Movie review – How is it done? in which Raunak has talked about how a good review is written. In this article, Raunak is analyzing some Nepali movie reviews.
At the time when Hindi movie Ravaan featuring Avisekh Bacchan and Aiswarya Rai was released (June 18, 2010), Nepali daily Kantipur published a review of the movie after a few days of the release. The review mentioned that the movie also featured Manisha Koirala and Govinda. The article appreciated their role even if they appeared briefly in the movie. I had watched the movie on June 19 (before the review was published) so I had to ask a friend for the DVD of the movie to confirm the error in the film review. There was no mention of Manisha in casting and she never appeared in the movie.
On October 2, 2010 police arrested two girls from Town Plazza in Naxal. Two pimps named Sanjiv Lama and Som Bahadur Tamang were also arrested with the girls. It is told that they used to charge Rs. 50,000 for a night to customers, however, the girls got only Rs. 10,000. But, the issue is not about prostitution or, cheating the prostitutes, it is about how our journalist cover the news.
[Update: I had written the original post in a hurry so, I have changed some wordings. I hope Kantipur editors will come up with some valid arguments.]
Some people thought that my previous article, Journalism Ethics, Dabur and Miss Nepal, was biased. I want to make myself clear, by telling that, I still believe in the spirit of the article, Indian Embassy – Real Juice – Real motive, and Indian Media, I wrote on August 28. A few points:
- Kantipur owes me an explanation. Why didn’t they cover the Miss Nepal event? I am still not convinced Kantipur did something ethical.
- Not publishing major news based on one’s personal problem (or, organizational dispute) implies that the Indian Embassy was right in telling our journalists are unethical (even if, it is still baseless).
- Am I baised ? Yes, a little bit. Previously, Kantipur writers simply ignored my enquiries through previous articles and emails (on Maya Bazin and Smita Thapa issues). The article was targeted to thick skinned, writers there.
My friend Aakar argued that he thinks Kantipur publication is doing what it should. Dipak Bhattarai and Aakar sent me the link to The Hindu article. It was a very detailed and in-depth analysis of the background of the current problem. I have summarized the articles below:
Excerpts from Nepali Times article.
I had raised the issue of ethics and code of conduct of Nepali journalists more than once. As promised previously, I went through the Nepali Journalis’ Federation (FNJ) website, in the quest of journalist code of ethics and conduct.
According to FNJ website, apart from the National Broadcasting Act, 1993 there is no legal provision to define the journalism practice in Nepal. FNJ has posted a very crude Code of Conduct in the same page.
The Code of Conduct doesn’t talk about copyright (oh my!), has a lot of obvious mistakes, and is in English (not in Nepali).
UPDATE: One of the admins of the site hosting Maya’s video has replied to our question about the background of Maya Bazin. Here is what they have to say:
She’s a |**rn girl. That’s why she’s lying. Most girls don’t want to give away their real background so she made something up. ….
I hope the editors in Saptahik have learned the lesson.
Last time, when the infamous sex tape of Namrata Shrestha was covered in various media, BBC Nepali initiated a discussion on the Journalist ethics and responsibility. At that time many media houses, including Kantipur publication, choose to ignore the issue and acted as if the scandal didn’t happen.
The time has changed. It seems, Kantipur is regretting the noble decision it made at that time.
When Kantipur published an interview of an intoxicated and sexually aggressive model/actress, Smita Thapa, we questioned its real purpose. A latest front-page article about a sex film actress, Maya Bazin, has made the interview of Smita Thapa insignificant to talk about.
As far as I know, it is illegal to make or sell sex films in Nepal. Such act is punishable by law. Does that make it illegal to create undue interest on such films in general public? I hope, the law pundits will answer the question in comment.
The Namrata Shrestha sex scandal has created a huge impact not only in Nepalese film industry but also started debate on ethics in journalism. BBC Nepali aired a program â€œNepal Samdarvaâ€ (listen audio in Nepali) in which Rabindra Mishra questioned on the ethics of Nepali journalist to bring out the news to general public. Mishra called upon the editor of Nayapatrika Dainik, Krishna Jwala Devkota, and Journalism Professor, P. Kharel, to talk on the issue. Kharel says that the video is personal and it should havenâ€™t have been a news but Krishna defended on being it a public news.
Till date, it is not known who released the tape in YouTube. Internet, by its vary nature is ruthless in distributing content around the world. In a matter of hours the video was distributed all around the world like a wild fire. Some noted newspapers like Kantipur, Nagariknews didnâ€™t thought it newsworthy (however they featured articles on the subject, later). But others like Dainikee, Nayapatrika wrote front page articles on their issues. This shows division on mainstream journalist on prioritizing news for publication. Some thought it a personal matter and others consider it a public concern. We first thought that it was an attempt to defame the artist but it later turned out to be the real Namarta. It shouldnâ€™t have been released in internet in the first placeâ€¦ once it is out one canâ€™t control it. Turning a blind eye on it might even backfire. People should be given an opportunity to learn from othersâ€™ mistakes.