Monday, May 9, 2011

Potter Box Model For Ethical Decisions

Ethics - the discipline dealing with what is morally right or wrong, good or bad.
Ethical system describes the critical process of how we work through moral issues
Values - the accepted principles or standards of an individual or a group
All decision-making involves values which reflect our presuppositions about social life and human nature!
The Potter Box is a tool for making ethical decisions. It is often used by communications professionals, but it can be used by anyone facing an ethical dilemma. The Potter Box guides you towards a decision - it does not make the decision for you. It was created by Harvard philosopher Ralph Potter. It is based on the notion that ethical dilemmas result from conflicts that arise between the values we hold, the principles we use to make our decisions, the duties we have to others or any combination of these.
Ralph Benajah Potter, Jr., who retired in July 2003, began teaching at HDS (Harvard Divinity School) in 1965. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and the author of the book War and Moral Discourse and assorted scholarly articles. He is a founding fellow of the Hastings Center for Bioethics and is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Christian Ethics, Societe Europeene de Culture, the Society for Values in Higher Education, and, at Harvard, the Senior Common Room of Lowell House. His 1997 HDS Convocation Address was titled "Moralists, Maxims and Formation for Ministry. Potter represented the stages as four quadrants of a box, and hence the name
"Potter’s Box is an ethical framework used to make decisions by utilizing four categories which Potter identifies as universal to all ethical dilemmas. Potter was a theologian at the Harvard Divinity School when he developed this moral reasoning framework. The Potter Box uses four dimensions of moral analysis to help in situations where ethical dilemmas occur: Facts, Values, Principles, and Loyalties.
The first quadrant in the Potter Box is define the situation or we also called it facts
Just as in any kind of a decision that we have to make. The first step is to gather all available information that sheds light on how the situation developed and what it looks like now, so that we can truly pinpoint the problem.
List the facts of the situation you are in, so that you can better understand it. This will help you understand exactly what ethical dilemma you are trying to solve. After completing other steps, you may find that you have to return to this step and modify your definition of the situation. The definition stage of the Potter Box concerns the facts of the issue at hand. Here is where the analyst should set out all facts without making judgments or hiding any facts.
The second quadrant is values.
Values are those aspects of life you consider to be important to you and that guides your decisions about what is right and what is wrong. At this stage the analyst should state and compare the merits of different values to acknowledge the influences on decision-making. By referring to the specific concerns of the individuals involved, it allows the analyst to identify differences in perspectives.
Identify the values—beliefs that define what you stand for. Values are helpful in rationalizing or defending your behavior. They are standards of choice through which persons and groups seek consistency in our values.
Basically, what do you stand for? You will likely end up with a long list of adjectives like honesty, responsibility, and broad minded. When you ultimately reach a conclusion, your decision should not go against these values. For example, you shouldn't decide to do something dishonest if you believe honesty to be very important.
I will give u an example if you value truth and fairness, these values are likely to find manifestation in the kind of decision you make about both your professional and personal lives and therefore will guide you behavior. If you value money and security you believe money can bring you more than you value the truth, this belief will guide your decision
In addition to these personal values, there are specific values that your profession - public relations – holds to be important in guiding your decision making. For example the public relations society of America has an explicit ‘PRSA Statement of Professional Values’ and indicates these to be the following”
1. Advocacy
2. Honesty
3. Expertise
4. Independence
5. Loyalty
6. Fairness

Types of Values
Proximity Firstness Impact/magnitude Conflict Human Interest Entertainment Novelty Toughness Thoroughness Immediacy Independence
No prior restraint Public’s right to know Watchdog
Moral Values
Truthtelling Humanness Justice/fairness Freedom Independence Stewardship Honesty Nonviolence Commitment Self-control
Harmonious Pleasing Imaginative
Consistent Competent Knowledge-able
Thrift Hard work Energy Restraint Heterosexuality
The third quadrant is principles.
Principles are ethical philosophies or modes of ethical reasoning that may be applicable to the situation. By considering the values stated above from several ethical philosophies, the decision-maker is better equipped to understand the situation. The following are some of the ethical philosophies that may be utilized under this segment of Potter's Box:
Aristotle's Golden Mean. Aristotle's Golden Mean defines moral virtue as a middle state determined practical wisdom that emphasizes moderation and temperance.
• NOT a weak-minded consensus
• NOT a compromise
• NOT a mathematically equal distance between two extremes
• Aristotle’s mean involves the correct quantity, the correct timing, the correct people, the correct motives, and the correct manner
Confucius' Golden Mean. Confucius' Golden Mean is more commonly known as the compromise principle and says moral virtue is the appropriate location between two extremes.

Kant's Categorical Imperative. Kant's Categorical Imperative dictates what we must never do, and those actions that have become universal law.
“Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law

Main ideas
• Ethics are objective
• Any genuine moral obligation can be universalized
• Categorical = unconditional
• What is right must be done regardless of circumstances
• Existence of higher truths
• Deontological ethics

Mill's Principle of Utility. John Stuart Mill's Principle of Utility dictates that we must seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
• Consider what course will yield the best consequences for the welfare of human beings
• Ethical choice produces the greatest balance of good over evil
• Good end must be promoted, bad end must be restrained
Rawl's Veil of Ignorance. John Rawls' Veil of Ignorance asks us to place ourselves in the position of the people our decisions may influence. Justice emerges when negotiating without social differentiations
Agape Principle. This principle, also known as the Judeo-Christian, 'Persons as Ends' principle, emphasizes love for our fellow humans and the golden rule.
• “Love your neighbor as yourself”
• “What is the Will of Heaven like? The answer is – To love all men everywhere alike”
• All moral obligations derived from the command to love God and humankind
• Love for neighbor as normative
• Regard for others as personal, not legalistic (as with Rawls’s contract)
• Humans made in the image of God and with unconditional value apart regardless of circumstances
So overall this stage involves identifying your guiding principle or philosophy. You may find that you have a few you abide by, but be sure that the one you pick here is applicable to the situation at hand. Your principle or philosophy could be something like "always tell the public the truth", or it could be the teachings of a Greek philosopher. Again, your decision shouldn't contradict what you identify in this step.
The fourth quadrant is loyalties
Loyalties concern who the decision-maker has allegiances or loyalties to. For example, in journalism, the first allegiance is always to the public. Other allegiances a journalist might have would be to their employer, industry organizations or co-workers.
This is to determine to whom you must be loyal in this situation. The four important loyalties are of course to your employer, your profession, society and yourself. According to most professional associations’ codes of ethical behavior, your most important loyalty in a given professional situation should be to your employer or client. For example, whistle blowing is one of those situations where you have determined that there is potential harm that could be done to society and therefore your loyalty to your employer needs to take second place to your loyalty to society.
Who or what is most important for you to stand up for? Who gets hurt? Who benefits? Are you loyal to yourself, the public, your readers or the law? You may have several loyalties here, and be sure your decision does not abandon your loyalties. (Ex: if you are loyal to the law, don't break it).
The name "Potter Box" may indicate that this process is very rigid, but this is a fluid process, and you may have to go back and forth among the steps before you can reach a conclusion. This process will also become a bit easier and quicker the more you practice it. Two different people analyzing the same issue using the Potter Box can arrive at two very different conclusions. In fact, the same person using the same issue could arrive at different decisions when using the box at two different times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Media System In Middle East


For the past 40 years, the communications ecology of the Middle East has been shaped by a mass media regime, a one-to-many model of communication, with a strong structural ‘fit’ with authoritarian, centralized regimes. This model, dominated by representations of state power, authority and symbolic legitimacy, has been important in defining a mass citizenry that has been largely seen as conforming to the views of the state.

Development of the media ecology in the Middle East has for the past 40 years been shaped by the policies of authoritarian regimes as well as by commercial imperatives. The media in the region is, in general, controlled and monitored closely by governments - either by direct ownership or through strict laws and regulations that direct the media agenda. The major role of the media in the Middle East is as a propaganda tool to promote the government’s political, cultural, and economic programs. Since the eighteenth century, the media has operated in an environment of direct censorship by the state and self-censorship by journalists, editors and publishers. Many journalists in the region are convinced that the authorities are using new monitoring and surveillance technologies to record their actions and ultimately punish them if they transgress established policies. The media thus continues to favor protocol news in which content registers state power and enforces national political solidarity. The Middle Eastern media remains largely composed of government monopolies, with the advent of the Internet and new communications technology being viewed by governments in the region as yet another platform to publicize their viewpoints.

Middle Eastern economies range from being very poor (such as Gaza and Yemen) to extremely wealthy nations (such as Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia). Overall, as of 2007, according to the CIA World Factbook, all nations in the Middle East are maintaining a positive rate of growth.
According to the World’s Bank World Development Indicators database published on July 1, 2009, the three largest Middle Eastern economies in 2008 were Turkey ($ 794,228,000,000), Saudi Arabia ($ 467,601,000,000) and Iran ($ 385,143,000,000) in terms of Nominal GDP. Turkey ($ 1,028,897,000,000), Iran ($ 839,438,000,000) and Saudi Arabia ($ 589,531,000,000) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP. When it comes to per capita (PPP)-based income, the three highest-ranking countries are Qatar ($80,900), Kuwait ($39,300) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ($37,300). The lowest-ranking country in the Middle East in terms of per capita income (PPP) is the autonomous Palestinian Authority of Gaza and the West Bank ($1,100).
The economic structure of Middle Eastern nations are different in the sense that while some nations are heavily dependent on export of only oil and oil-related products (such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait), others have a highly diverse economic base (such as Israel, Turkey and Egypt). Industries of the Middle Eastern region include oil and oil-related products, agriculture, cotton, cattle, dairy, textiles, leather products, surgical instruments, defense equipment (guns, ammunition, tanks, submarines, fighter jets, UAVs, and missiles). Banking is also an important sector of the economies, especially in the case of UAE and Bahrain.
With the exception of Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel, tourism has been a relatively undeveloped area of the economy, due in part to the socially conservative nature of the region as well as political turmoil in certain regions of the Middle East. In recent years, however, countries such as the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan have begun attracting greater number of tourists due to improving tourist facilities and the relaxing of tourism-related restrictive policies.
Unemployment is notably high in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly among young people aged 15–29, a demographic representing 30% of the region’s total population.

National politics still play the crucial role in shaping the media environment of any given Arab country. the most important causal variable affecting the political role of the mass media in each country is the underlying political system that prevails in that country. Other factors such as geography turned out to be not very important. The mass media system in Lebanon, for example, seemed less like the media in neighboring Syria and more similar to the media in Morocco. Morocco, in turn, was quite unlike the media in its neighbor Algeria. Media systems are fundamentally rooted in existing political systems. When a political system changes, a transformation takes place in the media system. In the past, when national governments had more control over Arab media, there were always some cross-border information flows. Some people listened to the BBC from London, VOA from Washington, or the Voice of the Arabs from Cairo, or they were able to import foreign newspapers. Others who happened to live in border areas where television from a neighboring country was visible, could watch that. But many people only had access to the media that were produced within the borders of their home countries, and those media were heavily influenced by the political circumstances in those countries. In Saddam’s Iraq, for example, the public essentially had access only to information and ideas that Saddam wanted them to have, since he presided over a mobilization press, banned foreign print media and jammed foreign broadcasts.
Today the situation has changed because of greater globalization and regionalization of the media, especially due to satellite television. As a result, many more people have access to information produced outside the borders of their home countries. This has made the Arab media picture much more complicated than it once was. The controls that state governments once had have been eroded somewhat because many more alternative sources of information and comment have now become available to the Arab public. Yet national political, economic and cultural constraints and influences have not disappeared
The basic political conditions inside individual Arab countries remained fairly stable during the 1980s and into the 1990s, and as a result the media systems did not change very much during that period. During the past decade, however, significant political changes have taken place in a number of Arab countries, and this had the effect of modifying the media systems in those countries. As a consequence, some media systems shifted categories.
Some newspapers, typically the larger circulation ones, tended to be more supportive of the government, while others, typically owned by private individuals and political parties, had more limited circulations and were more likely to criticize the government. Their freedom was reinforced by the existence of multiple political parties. But the regime had some advantages in the explicit and implicit taboos and red lines that existed, plus laws and economic incentives and disincentives. The fact that media systems change as a result of changes in the political environment validates the basic premise that national political realities are a major variable influencing Arab media. And in the future, if political conditions do change anywhere, it is likely that the media systems will also be subject to change.
Modifications in any analysis of Arab media must be made on a continuing basis, because the Arab media scene is changing rapidly now. It is no longer as static as it was in the past, and to paint an accurate picture we need to follow closely the media developments in each Arab country and the region as a whole, adjusting our analysis accordingly. Significant changes have taken place in the past decade, in contrast to the immediately preceding decades, making shifts in the typology necessary. It has therefore now become more difficult to predict what will happen to media systems in the coming years. It may be, for example, that more countries will follow the recent examples of Yemen and Iraq and move into the diverse media category because of changes that take place in their national political systems. And media in other countries, perhaps affected by the great increase in cross-border media penetration from satellite television and the Internet, may show increased signs of diversity, and even become “transitional” as they seek a new formula for media organization. At the same time, individual media outlets, such as Al Manar, may become more strident voices for advancing specific political agendas of reminiscent of a mobilization broadcaster as their patrons struggle against their political adversaries. Yet Al Manar is only able to play that role because it exists within the permissive environment of the diverse Lebanese media structure that is in turn based on a pluralistic Lebanese national political system.

The Arab world is usually considered to be comprised of the following nineteen countries: Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Yemen. There are also significant Arab populations in Iran, Turkey, East Africa, South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

The Middle East is very diverse when it comes to religions, most of which originated there. Islam in its many forms is by far the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths, such as Judaism and Christianity, are also important. There are also important minority religions like Bahá'í, Yazdanism, Zoroastrianism.
Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Middle East, being official in all the Arab countries. It is also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighboring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a Semitic language. Second most-numerous language is Persian, and while it is confined to Iran and some border areas in neighbouring countries, the country is one of the region's largest and most populous. It is an Indo-European language with lots of Arabic and Aramaic influences. Third most numerous is the Turkish language also confined to Turkey (also one of the region's largest and populous countries) and areas with neighboring countries. It is an Altaic language with origins in Central Asia.
Other languages spoken in the region include Syriac (a form of Aramaic), Armenian, Azeri, Berber languages, Circassian, Gilaki language and Mazandarani languages, Hebrew, Kurdish, Luri, and other Turkic languages, Somali and Greek. In Turkey, Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian, and Gagauz languages are spoken, in addition to the Turkish language. Several modern South Arabian languages are also spoken. English is also spoken, especially among the middle and upper class, in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, and Kuwait French is spoken in Algeria, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Egypt. Urdu is spoken in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Arab states the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Qatar, which have large numbers of Pakistani immigrants. The largest Romanian-speaking community in the Middle East is found in Israel, where as of 1995 Romanian is spoken by 5% of the population. Romanian is spoken mostly as a secondary language by people from Arab-speaking countries that made their studies in Romania. It is estimated that almost half a million Middle Eastern Arabs studied in Romania during the 1980s. Russian language is also spoken by a large portion of the Israeli population, due to emigration in the late 1990s.

Newspapers in the Arab countries can be divided into three categories: those that are government-owned (together with semi-official papers such as al-Ahram in Egypt), those owned by political parties, and the “independent” press.
Very few of the privately-owned newspapers can be considered editorially independent; they are often owned by wealthy individuals who have political aspirations or seek to wield influence. Qatar, for instance, has six newspapers – all of them technically independent but actually owned by members of the ruling family or businessmen with close ties to the ruling family.
In general, Arab governments seek to keep a lid on political discourse and activity – especially any that might be perceived as a threat to the established order – though the degree of control varies from country to country. Besides the more obvious methods such as censorship and suppression, a number of bureaucratic and legal devices are used to restrict freedom of expression.

Until the 1990s almost all television channels in the Arab countries were government owned and rigidly controlled. These channels still exist but the situation began to change in the 1990s with the spread of satellite television. Privately owned and non-governmental channels introduced livelier programs aimed at a pan-Arab audience and also adopted a more professional approach to news and current affairs.
The pioneer in this field was the news channel, al-Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar but has enjoyed a large measure of independence. Al-Jazeera, many of whose staff originally came from the BBC, became the first Arabic channel to provide extensive live news coverage, even sending reporters to previously unthinkable places, such as Israel. Al-Jazeera also broke new ground with its discussion programs which looked at issues from more than one point of view and often raised subjects that had previously been taboo. The most common satellite channels are al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, al-Hurra, al-Manar etc.

The Arab countries lagged behind most of the world in adopting the internet. One factor, until the late 1990s, was the technical difficulty of using Arabic on the internet (and on computers more generally) which tended to restrict use to those who could work in English or, in some cases, French. Another factor was cost (including high connection charges, often through a government-controlled monopoly). Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the last Arab countries to provide public internet access, in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
By the middle of 2008, more than 38 million Arabs were believed to be using the internet at least once a month and overall internet penetration (users as a percentage of population) had reached 11.1% .This was still only about half the world average (21.9%) but all the signs pointed towards continuing rapid growth. The largest numbers of users were in Egypt (8.6 million), Morocco (7.3 million) and Saudi Arabia (6.2 million). As might be expected, the highest penetration levels were found in some of the wealthy Gulf States: the UAE (49.8%), Qatar (37.8%), Bahrain (34.8%) and Kuwait (34.7%) – all well above the world average. Further down the list, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Morocco were near or slightly above the world average. Middle Eastern Internet analysts have determined that low Internet penetration in the Middle East exists due to a number of factors relating to weak infrastructure, poor economic growth, high illiteracy levels, lack of relevant language, content and applications as well as cultural factors.
Having accepted the inevitability of the internet, the first instinct of Arab regimes was to look for ways to control it. This was based partly on their fears of political subversion but also on the fears of conservative and religious elements that it would undermine “traditional” values – fears that in both cases were well-founded. The favored approach often reflected the broader mindset of the regimes concerned: the Saudis opted for an extravagant high-cost, high-tech solution, while Iraq under Saddam Hussein surrounded internet use with barely-penetrable bureaucracy. Questions are being raised about the increasing interest of the new US administration in the 'new media' at the expense of traditional media, especially the written press, as that may not reflect the actual situation in the Arab world, where only a small percentage use websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Latest statistics indicate that only 8.3% of Facebook users are from the Arab . However, internet rules vary from country to country in Arab itself.

Media and Middle Eastern women
Women in the Middle East still bear the burden of traditions that bind their freedom to choose the way of her life and, even, their husbands. There is no doubt that Arab countries have made progress in advancing women’s causes, as shown by figures pertaining to development, education, employment and social advancement of women, but a lot remains to be done to achieve real equality in citizenship and professional promotion, as well as self-fulfillment.The women’s movement has greatly benefited from mass media, such as internet, chat rooms, television and radio debates which have enabled them to make a foray in to different fields they would not have accessed if they had relied only on the press. These means furthered heightening awareness of gender issues such as equality as an ideal alternative to discrimination and difference of sexes.
Women’s employment in Arab countries’ radio and television or press was the crowning achievement of their educational qualification (60 to 70% of information and communications Institutes’ students are women).7 However, they have not been able to access high-level positions that allow them to influence media strategies in a way that changes tradition’s negative views of women or how women’s issues are presented – still considered a taboo on many TV channels, such as sexual abuse, citizenship, legal equality in marital rights, love, husband choosing, woman’s right to seek divorce and to travel alone, as well as likening women to poverty, as in the saying ‘Poverty is a woman’s face’. Consequently, women remain procreating machines and sex objects. Moreover, they shoulder responsibility for corruption, prostitution, unemployment, poverty … earthquakes and all tribulations.
Survey Notes
The MediaSource/Insight Middle East Journalist Survey 2009 was conducted as an online poll of journalists in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Among other key findings of the 2009 survey are:
• There are more press releases being issued, but the heartening news for the PR industry is more of them are being used. Two years ago 58% of respondents claimed to use ‘none’ or ‘less than 10 percent’ of the releases they received, compared with 45% in 2009. The use of releases has increased significantly among the Arabic language press with 41% claiming to use a quarter or more of all releases they receive.

• There has been a big drop in confidence among the Arabic-language media in the value of on-the-record briefings. Whereas 88% regarded them as either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ important in 2007, that figure has halved to 44% two years later. There has been an almost identical decline in how the Arabic press values off-the-record briefings - 81% rated them as either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ important in 2007, compared with 44% now.

• The Arabic-language media has a higher opinion of regional PR agencies than their English-language counterparts with 31% believing their needs are understood either ‘Very Well’ or ‘Fairly Well’, compared with 19% of the English-language press who feel the same.

Media In Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia, though a pioneer of pan-Arab satellite television, has long had one of the most tightly-controlled media environments in the Middle-East. Criticism of the government and royal family and the questioning of religious tenets are not generally tolerated.
But by 2003 there were signs of increasing openness, with some formerly taboo topics receiving press and TV coverage. The September 11 attacks on the US and instances of domestics militancy were said to have brought about and more candid reporting.
The state-run Broadcasting service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (BSKSA) is responsible for all broadcasting. It operates four TV networks, including news channel al-Ikhbariya. The minister of culture and information chairs the body which oversees radio and TV operations.
Private radio and TV stations cannot operate from Saudi soil, but the country is a key market for pan-Arab satellite and pay-TV broadcasters. Saudi investors are behind some of these networks, including Dubai-based MBC and Bahrain-based Orbit. Viewers in the east can pick up TV stations from more liberal Gulf neighbors.
Saudi newspapers are created by royal decree. There are more than a dozen dailies and many magazines. Pan-Arab papers, subject to censorship, are available. Newspapers tend to follow the lead of the state-run news agency on whether or not to publish stories on sensitive subjects.
The government has invested heavily in security systems to block access to websites it deems offensive, said to range in subject matter from religion to swimwear.
There were 6.2 million internet users by March 2008(ITU). Many surfers are said to be women, possibly a result of restrictions on their movements. There are said to be many as 5,000 Saudi blogs.

The press
• Al-watan – Abha based daily
• Al-Riyadh – Riyadh based daily
• Okaz – Jeddah based daily
• Al-Jazirah- Riyadh based daily
• Al-Sharq al-Awsat- Riyadh based daily, English-language web pages
• Arab news – Jedah-based English-language daily
• Saudi Gazette- Jeddah-based English-language daily
• Saudi TV- state-run, operates four networks
• Saudi Radio – state run

News Agency
• Saudi Press Agency- state run

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Communication & Globalization

Society is composed of individuals. It is due to the communication ability that humans are considered superior to animals. The process of communication has always been and will always play a significant role in the existence of human life. No human can survive without communicating. It is believed that prior to the time of human existence there were no symptoms of speech and writing. When humans started residing on the earth it was only after a long years of time that they had actually started to speak. At first the communication was only at intra-personal level and thus defining it as intra-personal communication. Gradually interaction between the individuals increased which was later termed as inter-personal communication. This was not enough. Then people started thinking in wider perspective. The communication broadened its horizon to group communication, Organizational communication and then to mass communication.
The time where we live is 21st century and this period is very well known for its development in science and information technology. Nowadays emails, internet, fax, phones, mobiles, television are very common. And these are the tools that have made communication easier, faster, and reliable. At present it takes no time to communicate from one corner of the world to other. In this relation, the whole world is being looked at as a single community that is connected by electronic communication systems. Thus, globalization can be defined as the integration and democratization of the world’s culture, economy, and infrastructure through the transnational investment, rapid proliferation of communication and information technologies, and the impacts of free-markets on local, regional, and national economies.
Globalization mainly deals with the interconnectedness of the people in a global manner. It is due to the globalization that we are so much adapted and accustomed to not only the western cultures but other cultures as well. The influence of Hollywood, McDonalds, and change in language, culture, and dressing are such examples of globalization. Globalization is a two way process. If there was no mass media, globalization would not have been possible. The information disseminates from one part of the world to other part in seconds, this miracle is just due to the mass media. Hence we can say that globalization and mass media are interdependent. Globalization is only possible because of mass media and on the other hand mass media gets advanced due to globalization. Globalization has helped the people to be updated with each and every happenings of the world. The thoughts and ideas of individuals now work in wider perspective. Despite having many advantages many people still argue that globalization cannot always be useful to individuals since working technically is not always proper. It may confine an individual to just himself being self centered. Other critical issues may arise due to the globalization. So globalization can be seen both positively and pessimistically.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sate of Radio In Nepal (Term Paper)

An Overview
As Nepal continues in its transition of defining its political destiny as a new born republic, what remains certain is the fact that the Radio assumes an indispensable role in shaping the opinion of the people; and hence the fate of its future. A distinctive and central feature of Nepal’s sovereign dispensation has been its willingness to facilitate the development of the Radio as a means to encourage the making of an informed society. Indeed, the Radio has been a central pathway of connecting and empowering the diverse people of Nepal as a dynamic political entity.  
While India by large is an entertainment centered society, which has been manifested and reiterated through its mainstream media, Nepal by comparison thrives on the hunger for want of information and knowledge through public discourses on issues that are important to their existence. Considering that print media has limited reach and accessibility in Nepal, the Radio in effect is the one and only true medium of mass communication. With cheap and easy accessibility, the Radio has succeeded in developing a personal relationship with the listener. From remote villages to the heart of Kathmandu valley, from scanty shacks to sophisticated studios, Radio stations stand proudly in the skyline, serving as reminder its testament as a vanguard of people’s aspiration. Nepal’s pioneering community Radios have had positive affect on the people; and because it is community-centered with ownership in the hands of the people, it has become an affective and trustworthy medium for addressing concerns, disseminating information, empowering people to make informed decisions.

In Nepal, the first Radio station Radio Nepal was established in 1950. However, it can be estimated that even before 1950, the people had been possibly experiencing the taste of listening to the radio from the stations of neighboring countries. It is hard to say
when the people first started listening to the radio. But it can be guessed that they have been listening to the radio for more than 75 years. India had already started broadcasting by 1923, and hence it is assumed that Nepalese working there certainly listened to Indian radio broadcasts. After the establishment of radio stations in India, the radio became popular in elite circles in Nepal too. However, without the ruler’s assent, nobody was allowed to have a radio set. We cannot guess the number of radio sets at any particular time during the initial days of radio listening. When the British forces were doing badly against the Japanese during the Second World War, the rulers in Nepal seized the radio sets from the people. Rana rulers had been supporting the British and providing soldiers to fight for them, so they did not want the people to listen to news of battles being lost. The seized radio sets were stored in Singha Durbar, and it is said that they numbered about 400 and were returned to their owners later.
In July 1946, the then Prime Minister Padma Shamser Rana declared that people could have personal radios. He also arranged to broadcast native radio, Nepal Broadcasting from Bijuli Adda in January 1948. But this could not last long. Padma Shamser Rana resigned from the post of the prime minister and a few months later, this transmission was also halted. This was not to last for long and in August 1948 it was revived again. Mohan Shamser, then Prime Minister, made arrangements to bring two transmitters in order to improve transmission.
In 1950, the Nepali Congress Party was fighting against the Rana autocracy and freedom fighters had also begun to run radio transmissions called Prajatantra Nepal Radio from Biratnagar, an eastern city in Nepal. This program was used to broadcast their activities as well as other information which encouraged the general people to support their movement against the Rana rulers. When Nepali Congress' campaign succeeded, the new government shifted the radio program to Kathmandu (Koirala 2005). Later on it was renamed Nepal Radio and it ultimately became Radio Nepal.
From that time radio broadcasting caught on in a big way. Until 1995 Radio Nepal was the only radio station to broadcast in Nepal. Then frequency modulation (FM) radio technology entered Nepal.

From Past To Present
On 31 March 1996, the station that would become Radio Sagarmatha aired its first test signals on FM 102.4 Mhz without a license. When NEFEJ finally received a broadcasting license on 18 May 1997, Radio Sagarmatha became the first fully independent radio station in the country and marked an important achievement for civil society in Nepal.As Radio Sagarmatha broke new ground, gradually shedding the restrictions that initially accompanied its license, the movement for ‘community radio’ gained momentum outside the valley. In the process, Radio Sagarmatha set the standard for independent, public-interest radio in the country. More FM licenses were granted and in early 2000, two new ‘community’ stations joined the airwaves: the first, Radio Lumbini in Rupandehi District, a cooperative which raised the funds for its establishment locally, and the second, Radio Madanpokhara in the adjacent district of Palpa, licensed through the Village Development Committee. Around the same time, NEFEJ created the Community Radio Support Centre (CRSC) to support the development of sector, and in 2002, the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) was established as a representative body for community radio in Nepal. As new stations started to broadcast, pioneer like Radio Sagarmatha and production groups like Communication Corner began to share content and programs, at first using telephone link-ups and cassette, then gradually moving to CD and satellite as full-fledged production houses and distribution networks started to emerge. By 2005 there were some 50 FM stations on the air with more than one third of these operating on a non-profit basis (the basic criteria to be considered as a community radio).
After the success of the People’s Movement of 2006, which resulted in the promulgation of a new constitution, FM licenses were issued en masse. Some 150 licenses were granted between April 2006 and July 2007, including more than 65 to non-profit groups. In August 2007, ACORAB listed its membership at 90 radio stations with 33 broadcasters on air. However, according to UNESCO, 216 licenses had been issued by the Government of Nepal, as of July 2007 with 78 FM stations broadcasting. The growth of community radio has been equally large with 93 licenses issued beginning May 2007 and 35 stations on air. As of October 2007 community radio coverage had spread to 56 of 75 districts. UNDP’s Human Development Report in 1995 estimated only three radio sets per one hundred people in Nepal. However, Development Communication and Research Consultancy Group in 1990 estimated that 63.6% of Nepalese households have radio sets, a ratio of about 112 sets per 1000 people. According to MoIC, Bagmati, Narayani, Lumbini and Gandaki zones have acquired 34, 24, 18 and 16 radio licenses respectively. Likewise, Koshi and Seti each have got 11 Radio licenses while the Ministry has granted 8 licenses each to FM radios in Dhaulagiri and Karnali zones so far. The number of those acquiring radio licenses in Bheri, Mechi and Mahakali totals 13, 9 and 3 respectively.
The districts yet to receive FM license include Terhathum, Rautahat, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Manang, Myagdi, Dolpa, Dadeldhura and Baitadi.

As by the date 10th November, 2008, the status of FM radio is as the following:
Number of FM radio licenses issued: 299
Operational Fm radio stations : 172
Operational Fm radio transmitters: 195
Multiple channel FM broadcasters: 4
Multiple site FM broadcasters: 5
FM broadcasters with satellite uplink: 5

Multiple channel FM broadcasters are the radio broadcasters operating with more than one FM channel at a specific location. Kalika FM, for example, broadcasts 95.2 MHz and 91.0 MHz from Bharatpur. Multiple site broadcasters have their stations operating at different locations in the country at the same frequency or different frequencies. Kantipur FM, for example, broadcasts from 8 locations in the country at 96.1 and 101.8 MHz.

Broadcasting and wireless operation frequencies are issued by Frequency Division, Ministry of Information & Communication, Government of Nepal. The FM radio licenses are basically categorized and taxed according to their operational transmitter power. However, FM radio stations can still be divided into commercial radio, public radio, community radio and pirated radio. Pirated radio is mostly against government. Nepal Government licensed private radios are called commercial and community radio. The government owned radio is called public radio. There is still difference in classification of radios. Operational radios and televisions as permitted by National Broadcasting Act 2049 and National Broadcasting law 2052 has classified into same group.

In Nepal, all types of radio are already in use but it hasn’t been classified in proper way. But government owned radio is known as public radio, private company owned FM radio is known as commercial radio while the stations owned by illegal organizations, VDCs along with metropolitan city is known as community radio. No one has tried to name the radios which work against the government. But these types of radios are known as ‘pirated radios all over the world’.

Facts and Figures
The Broadcast Audience Survey (BAS 2006-2007) shows that 65% of the country is covered by one of more of the FM radio signals for comfortable tuning to the radio frequencies. This percentage increases to 75% when calculated for the lowest signal level that can be received by a highly sensitive radio set.
Housewives and shop owners are the most radio listening group in the country (32% each) while students (13%) are found to be the next most listening group in the country.
Radio is available and accessible in 82% of Nepalese household while 59% of household has television, telephone 30%, newspaper 13%, magazines 5% and internet 1%.
76% of radio sets owned have both AM and FM tuners while around 7% of radio sets are only tunable to AM bands such as Medium Wave and Short wave.
56% of radio sets owned in the country are Chinese brands, while 37% of radio sets are Indian and 2.7% Japanese. 1.8 percent of radio sets are from rest of the countries.
Radio is the most preferred source of information and entertainment with 64%, followed by television - 35%, newspapers 0.8% and internet 0.1%.
FM radio is the most preferred (84.7%) frequency band among the radio bands, followed by Medium Wave (MW – 44.6%) and Short Wave (SW – 16.5%).
The peak radio listening time is 6:00am – 8:00am in the morning and 6:00pm -10:00pm in the evening.

Radio Broadcasting Associations
Association Of Community Radio Broadcasters’ (ACORAB)
Broadcasting Association of Nepal (BAN)
Far-Western FM Radio Broadcasters' Forum
Kathmandu Valley FM Radio Broadcasters' Forum
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).

Estimation of listeners
In the mid of year 2062 about 50 FM radio were already broadcasted. About 65% of the total population was supposed to have come under the area of FM broadcasting (mainali 2007 A.D.; Equal Access Nepal 2007 A.D.). Radio has a reach over 70-75% of the total population. Since, the estimated population of Nepal is about 2.7 crore, approx. 1.9-2 crore of total population listen to any one kind of radio.
Due to the non balanced distribution of FM radio in Nepal, it is very hard to analyze as how many radio FMs are being heard. A listener has a reach over an average of 30 FMs in Kathmandu.
At present, 18 languages are used to run programs in FM which includes rajvanshi, bantawa, rai, santhal, jhangad, chepang, newari, tamang, maithali, gurung, magar, Bhojpuri, rana, tharu, purveli tharu, dangora tharu, avadhi, kham magar, limbu, doteli (Gopal Guragain and Pratyush Wanta).

Reaction of listeners
According to Pratyush Wanta, at first people felt excitement to hear their own voice through phone or they only considered radio as a means of entertainment, they did not prefer to maintain a deep or serious relation with it. In its starting days, radio used to take support from its listeners for musical programs. But in talk shows, listener’s interaction was rare.
According to Gopal Guragain and Toya Ghimire, listener’s involvement and participation is stronger on the side of both radio and the listener. At one side, the socio environment and personal life determines his participation in the particular program in the radio. On the other side, the selection of the listeners is based on the subject matter and style of the programs broadcasted by the radio stations. The enhancement of the community radio has not only made the system of broadcasting easy but also has contributed in making the rural people more involved and making them speak in the radio programs. Their confidence level has risen because of the fact that it is easier and comfortable to communicate with the people from the same community. The content of programs is purely based on the society in which radio is broadcasted. Thus, we can see that commercial radio is less concerned with its listeners in the program production and effect as compared to the community radio.
General people like us have been using radio as a means of sharing personal problems. General people, medium level organizations and political people have made radio as a means of expressing themselves. Before the establishment of radio, press was an essential means of communication for the people. But the invention and development of radio has contributed a lot for the people who cannot read.

Most popular programs produced or based in Kathmandu

The radio programs that were found to have high listenership outside the Kathmandu valley were:
Saathi Sanga Man Ka Kura
Nepal Diary
Nepal Darpan
Naya Nepal
Thula Haste
Ghumne Mech
Maha Chautari
Hamro Riya Club
Asal Shasan
Maha Adalat
Ghatna Ra Bichar
Rajdhani Ko Sandesh
Pardeshi Ko Sandesh

The most listened programs in Nepal were found to be:
Saathi Sanga Manka Kura
Gatana Ra Vichar
Nepal  Darpan
No Tension
Naya Nepal
Hello Mithila
Lok Kosheli
Dimaag Kharaab
Tit for Tat
Lok Lahari
BBC Nepali Sewa
Aajaka Kura
Mero Kaatha Mero Geet
Laligurans Phulirahancha
Lok Aawaj
Manko Majheri

Women in radio
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.
The current reality is, women have become more visible in radio and television as presenters and announcers but few women are in reporting, editing and in other technical department. Moreover, the presences of women in any official commissions, boards or committees formed for formulating policies or monitoring the media are very few in number. Out of 13 members, there is only one woman in Press Council as a Board Member. In private media organizations as well, very few women are holding the decision making position.
As per the paper presented by Mr. Mahendra Bista, General Secretary of Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) during one of the program in Kathmandu, less than 10 percent female journalists are registered as member in Federation of Nepalese Journalists.
The research work that studies 16 media houses entitled "State of Inclusion in Ownership of Media Houses and Editorial Mechanism" by Journalist Mohan Singh Lama, shows 10 percent of women's ownership in media and 12 percent in News Department. Towards the government owned, the percentage of women representation is even low. Representation of women in decision-making level in government media is nil. In all four government owned media no women occupy the chief editor post. On the other hand in 13-member board of Press Council, there is only one women member.
Similarly, according to a research conducted by Sancharika Samuha on “Status of Women Journalists in Nepalese Media” in 2005, there are only about 12% women working in media and, among these, only a negligent number occupy decision-making positions. The research report further states:
“Women's participation is minimal in the journalism sector in Nepal and those who join the profession are not able to give it long-term continuity. The reason for this is that journalism is not considered a suitable profession for women, as the mobility of most Nepali women is very restricted. "
Data shows that, amongst the total participants (124) involved in the research, 65 percent of women journalists are working with FM radios. The second high percentage of are in television sector. Very few women are associated with "New Media" or "Online Journalism".
It is clear from the research presented by Sancharika that women journalists are discriminated. There exist lots of problems and challenges for the female journalists in Nepal. Increasing number of Media houses around the country has definitely increased the number of women in radio but their sustainability in the profession is not very fine. Lack of gender friendly environment, family and social barriers, high expectation but less achievements, more economical benefits and high position in any other profession rather than journalism has discouraged the female journalists
However, across Nepal the proportion of women journalists joining radio stations is growing, and the female voice is no longer a rarity. The other trend is for journalists to get together and launch radio stations staffed entirely by women.
Radio Mukti in Butwal, launched by committed women journalists was so bold in its coverage that it was recently attacked by local Maoists who vandalised the station.
In Biratnagar, Radio Purbanchal is another all-female station which is trying to address the pressing problems of gender discrimination in the eastern Tarai. At Purbanchal, the only man is the security guard. Station manager Kamala Kadel is a 55-year-old mother who used to be a social worker before starting the radio to empower women through grassroots communications.
The station's reach has grown in the past two years, reaching 75 per cent of households in Sunsari and Morang with close to one million regular listeners. There are around 40 community level organisations affiliated to the station and 2,000 households contributed funds and start-up capital. The station employs 18 journalists and studio technicians, all 20-30 year olds from disadvantaged communities.
So to sum up we can say that there is a variance in the involvement of women according to the geography of Nepal. At some places, the women involvement in media is very low almost negligible whereas on the other places involvement in media is highest in women and are walking as leaders.

There are many problems that a radio station has to face. First, how to survive with limited advertising and more educational service-oriented programs. Second, how to retain creative and dynamic journalists and producers in a competitive world. Two such producers are working at the BBC in London. Third, how to learn management techniques (of running radio stations) on a continuing basis. Fourth, how to create a marketing strategy and a dynamic marketing team in a small and low-cost station. Finally, how to motivate volunteers who could produce programs without posing a burden on the limited resources. Similarly, FM entrepreneurs allege that the government had distributed licenses without assessing market feasibility. According to them, mushrooming FM radios in a particular place will involve them in unhealthy competition and ultimately lead to the collapse of their venture. BAN officials said the government had failed to ensure proper distribution of radio frequencies. Radio frequencies have been distributed in an unscientific manner. The government must formulate certain regulations to ensure effective frequency distribution. Financial challenges still remain for the FM radios as they are still denied government advertisement, a major source of revenue for media in Nepal. The government recognizes advertisements published in little-known newspapers, but, it does not give recognition to such contents broadcast on FM radio, which are far more effective mediums than such papers. Nepal's FM radios are facing the twin problems of journalist security and station survival. Radio reporters have been the most vulnerable to attacks by militant groups, gangsters, criminals and state forces. In the past three weeks alone, FM radios in Khotang, Tanahu and Parbat have been physically attacked. Journalists have to self-censor because to write about certain issues or to dig deep is to invite threats and even attacks. Radio stations are also struggling to survive because of falling revenues from an advertising slump caused by political instability and crippling power cuts. Many are having difficulty even paying staff. Community radio organizations have been lobbying the government to treat them like a public service and reduce the royalty, taxes and renewal fees. They say that in the absence of clear policy on FM radio the government is granting licenses to political groups and the FM spectrum is getting crowded in many regions.

Attacks In The Year 2065
Ashwin 23- a criminal group injured Vishnu Bhandari, a journalist in himchuli FM of pokhara radio. They damaged his mobile phone, recorder and other belongings while he was on his duty.
Ashwin 25- Vrij kumar Yadav, a correspondent of BBC nepali service, Janakpur was killed by three unknown people wearing masks.
Aswin 29- many media persons were ill treated by hundreds of Maoists in front of prime minister’s residence. They were not considered.even after showing their identity cards.
Magh 7- Threat was given to a correspondent of kanitpur, Bharat Jargha Magar by the madheshi protestors.
Magh 7- Nepal Press Union publicized that Subash Karmacharya of CPN-UML gave a threat to fire five journalists in Sindhupalchowk. The five journalists were Rishiram Poudel of Kantipur FM, Dhruba Dangol of Nepal FM, Tika Dahal of Sagarmatha FM, Dinesh Thapa of Star FM and Ram KC of Nepal Samacharpatra.
Magh 12- protestors attacked Bhim Ghimire of Kantipur and Tanga Khanal of BBC service in Biratnagar. They were collecting news when they thrashed them and their vehicles.
Magh 14- Some journalists were bound to be grounded after the announcement of the attacks on them. The journalists were Govind Devkota of Nepal FM and Narayani FM, Sujit Mahat of Kantipur, Hari Adhikary of Radio Nepal and other workers of Federation of Nepali Journalists.
Magh 14- Attack on Radio Birgunj. About 60-70 people forcefully entered the premises during the time of curfew and damaged satellite of BBC service and Communication Corner including generator, UPS, vehicles, furniture, window, telephone etc.
Magh 16- some madhesi protestors in Biratnagar, attacked the motorbike of Vikram Luitel, a correspondent of Nepal FM 91.8.
Magh 21- The workers of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum of Biratnagar, encircled five journalists and hit them.
Falgun 20- some unknown criminals ill-treated Chudamani Wagle, a correspondent of Nepal FM 91.8 and attacked another journalist Roshan Neupane in Sarlahi.

Attacks or threats were common to the journalists if they published or broadcasted any news against a particular political party. Hence, to find the news of Terai protest people had to depend on the news of Kathmandu or even International news. Journalists were scared. They had a doubt if they would return to their home after their duty. Like other media, the employment of working journalists of democratic radio is insecure. The salary, appoints and services for leave of the workers of radio is not systematic.
The radio workers are very much victimized. They are given minimum salary. Some workers are paid late or even made work free. High-level media commission has addressed to protect the rights of working journalists.

Equal Access
The majority of Nepal's population lacks access to the internet, telephones or electricity. With high levels of print illiteracy, Nepal’s dominant form of communication is oral tradition, which communities have utilized for thousands of years.  Recent political changes and the end of the monarchy provide new opportunities for civic participation in the “New Nepal.”
Equal Access produces multiple award-winning radio series that empower listeners with critically needed information about early childhood development, youth issues, sustainable livelihoods, women's rights, education, HIV/AIDS prevention, reproductive health, safe migration and peace building. A recent survey by AC Nielsen indicates that an aggregate audience of 9 million Nepalese (over 30% of the population) listens to Equal Access programs on a weekly basis.
Moreover, Equal Access manages leadership training and support for community radio producers and reporters, NGO workers, youth educators and other community-based leaders to build the capacity of large numbers of rural Nepalese to advocate for change at their local level.

There have been several recent changes to the existing regulatory environment,including a provision in the interim constitution (2006) that protects media freedom, including that of FM radio stations, as a fundamental right (15/2), clearly stating “No radio, television, online or any other types of digital or electronic means, press or any other communication media shall be closed, seized or be cancelled because of publishing and broadcasting or printing any material by such means of audio, audio-visual or electronic equipment.” Other significant new developments include the Right to Information Act, which ensures the availability of any ‘public’ information, and an operationalised Working Journalists Act, which clearly describes terms and conditions for employment, and rights and responsibilities of journalists and media owners. The other significant change to the specific rules and procedures governing radio has been a reduction in the license and renewal fees required of FM broadcasters. The fee for a 100 watt transmitter, which was NPR 50000 (USD 770) became NPR 10000 (USD 154), a 50 watt unit went from NPR 25000 (USD 385) to NPR 1000 (USD 15) and for transmitters up to 30 watts, the fee was reduced from NPR 10000 to NPR 500 (USD 8). The change is significant since there is considerable benefit for stations with low power transmitters. The new policy would be even more significant if it were to represent an indication of future policy since it is clearly in favour of low-watt, non-commercial broadcasting.

1. Adhikari, Nirmala Mani. Advertising, Public Relatios and Media Issues, Prashanti Pustak Bhandari, Kathmandu, Nepal
2. Adhikari, Nirmala Mani, 2008. Communication, Media and Journalism and Integrated Study, Prashanti Pustak Bhandari.
3. Bhatta, Komal. , Humagain, Devraj. , Wanta, Pratyush. (2065) Swatantra radio ko ek dashak.: Vikas, Bahas ra Samajik Sarokar. Martin Chautari.
4. Dhungel, Vinod. (2065). Aamsanchar madhyamka rupma swatantra radio. Press swatantrata- Loktantrako ek Varsha. Ed. Bakram Baniya. Nepal Patrakar MahaSangh kendriya Karyalaya.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The Changu Narayana temple lies 20 km away to the east of Kathmandu, on the top of a hillock, and is surrounded by an evergreen lusty forest all around it with a typical traditional Nepalese settlement on its close suburb. The 1541m high hillock, upon which the temple rests, had also been used as a forest-hill-fort in the past.

During Lichhavi period it was not named as Changunarayan. It was then called Dolasikhar Swami. It was called so because the hill at which the temple is located is called Dolashikar and it is regarded as the guru so the name Dolashikar Swami is given. Since our childhood we were taught that the king Man Dev Malla had built Changunarayan temple but it is completely erroneous. The founder is believed to be Hari Dutta Verma who had built Changunarayan temple along with three other temples at the four cardinal directions of the Kathmandu valley, dedicated to the Hindu God Narayan. Changunarayan is also famous by the name of Champaknarayan and Garudnarayan. The three storied and two roofed temple of Changunarayan is the finest example of the Nepalese temple architectural design built in the “popular Nepalese style” on a one tired brick-stone platform. Its top roof is made out of gilded copper sheets while the lower one is having a traditional tiled roof. On the struts of the two-tiered Changu Narayan Temple, are the ten incarnations in which Narayan destroyed evil-doers. A sixth-century stone statue shows the cosmic form of Vishnu, while another statue recalls his dwarf incarnation when he crushed the evil king Bali. Apart from the pillar inscription of Mana Deva, there are stone slab inscription of Niripechha, Siva Deva-Amsuvarma, Abhaya Malla, Jaya Rudra Malla, Jayasthiti Malla. The temple of Goddess Chhinnamasta, Kileswor Mahadeva, Laxmi Narayan, Natyeswora, Yatu Maju, Kanti Bhairava and several sattalas (public rest houses) are some which were built in different historical times by different persons. Among them, the sculpture of the seated Garuda in anjali mudra, now placed beside a broken base of a stone pillar, is considered to be the oldest. It is believed that the remaining part of the pillar, which is now found being erected on the northern corner of the main shrine, was shifted here from its original place when it was broken.

The sculpture of Garuda was originally mounted on that pillar which also contains the inscription engraved by king Mana Deva in 464 AD using the Lichhavi script. Apart from this, the stone sculptures of Garudanarayan, vishworupa, Trivikram, Shreedhara and Narasingha are the other available finest specimens of sculptural arts executed in different times of the Lichhavi period.

The main Jatra of this temple is celebrated in the month of Baisakh however we had been hearing wrong that the Jatra takes place during the month of Magh. This is the rare temple found in Nepal where both Hindus and Buddhists alike offer their reverences. Asadh Sukla Ekadasi, Krisna Janmaastami and Haribodhani Ekadasi are some of the important events observed here every year in which a great number of devotees pour here from far and wide places take active participation on them by offering worship to the Lord. This tradition has been continuing since very long. Twice in every year, the main idol of the temple is taken to the Hanuman Dhoka Royal Palace of Kathmandu in August-September and December and January respectively in order to follow an age long tradition.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Wonderful Experience In Radio Nepal

Our normal field visit. We are usually taken to a field visit every week on Wednesdays. We had visited madan puraskar pustakalaya and changunarayan but this time it was Radio Nepal. It is located in SinghaDurbar. For waiting for about half an hour we were given our passes and then we headed towards singhadurbar. It was the first time; I had stepped inside such a big ministry office. The area was huge and we almost were lost. But with the assistance of our respected teachers Nirmala Mani Adhikary and Ram Chandra Paudel we entered into the premises of Radio Nepal. We were taken to Radio Nepal Kathmandu Broadcasting House No. 2. In some distance of the entrance a model of the building was placed. It had the details of working model of the building. The design was made by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). We headed towards the music studio. It was incredible to see such a sound proof room with so many musical instruments like harmonium, guitar, violin, sarangi, madal, piano, keyboard and so on. We were even allowed to play some of them. With much excitement everyone played instruments of their own interest. This studio was used to record songs. It takes an average of 4-5 days to record a song from the start to the mixing. Mostly Lokgit, Bhajan and Rastragaans are recorded. The member of music department, Khadka Gandarva helped to give details about the music studio.

Our next destination was program studio. Radio Nepal has its own studio for program production. Every program is broadcasted through this studio. For the mixing of songs, cartages were used once upon a time but now due to the advanced technologies mixing is done by computers or CDs. There are two rooms in the studio one is control machine where technician administers and other is continuity room for the program controller. The program is distributed through V-SAT Network. In case of damage or disturbance of V-SAT transmitter is used.

Radio Nepal has two Broadcasting houses consisting of one drama studio, two music studios, one reporting studio, three continuity studios, one news studio, and seven program production studios. Radio Nepal also facilitates a music library which has a collection of about 40,000 songs of different genres like Hindi Film, Gazals, English, BaalGeet, Film Songs, Old Songs, Classical Songs, National Songs, Folk Songs and so on. Every tape is assigned a number and registered in a book.
The members of Radio Nepal were very co-operative and supportive. They had no difficulty in showing us the infrastructures. They were very humble and soft.

My happiness and excitement knew no boundaries when I observed a live radio program. It was a lot fascinating. I had heard radio programs personally but to see it through my eyes was outstanding. Two of my friends even acted like hosting one of the shows and their voice was recorded. It was an awesome experience to actually feel like a media person. I hope after a couple of years my juniors would see me there hosting a show and I would be the one to welcome them and show them the Radio Nepal. I would always cherish this visit of Radio Nepal. I express my gratitude to my teachers for giving us such a golden opportunity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

हरिमंजुश्रीलाई सम्मान

नव वर्ष २०६६ को उपलक्ष्यमा एउटा एकल पुस्तक प्रदर्शनी समुद्घाटन समारोह आयोजित गरिएको थियो । यो समारोह प्रसिद्ध साहित्यकार हरि मंजुश्रीको सम्मानमा राखिएको थियो । यस समारोहका सौजन्य धुलिखेल नगर पालिका स्थित नेपाल रेड क्रस सोसाइटी सेतीदेवी उपशाखाले गरेको थियो । यस समारोहको प्रमुख अतिथि काठमाडौं विश्वविद्यालयका उपकुलपति डा। सुरेशराज शर्मा रहेको थिए । उनले रिबन काटेर उक्त समारोहको समुद्घाटन गरेका थिए ।

साहित्यकार हरिमंजुश्रीले नेपाली साहित्यको क्षेत्रमा गरेको निरन्तर सेवाको कदर गर्दै उनलाई विभिन्न सम्मानहरु दिइएको पाइन्छ । कुलचन्द्र कोइराला स्मृति प्रतिष्ठान रोशी राष्ट्रिय सम्मान नेपाली आवाजको सम्पादक सामाजिक जागरण माचको सम्मान पत्र साप्ताहिक मध्यममार्ग साधना सम्मान सुनकोशी साहित्य प्रतिस्ठान सम्मानपत्र मुक्तिमार्ग दर्शन पुरस्कार र जवाहरग्रन्थ सम्पादन पुरस्कार जस्ता उनले पाएका सम्मान तथा पुरस्कारहरु हुन् ।

आर्थिक सामाजिक शैक्षिक र राजनीतिक दृष्टिकोणबाट पिछडिएको ठाउँबाट उम्रेका हरिमंजुश्रीले नेपाली भाषाको व्याकरणमा ठूलो परिवर्तन ल्याएका छन् । उनले र अरुले लेखेका भाषाको व्याकरणमा धेरै भिन्नता छ । उनले भाषा शैली शिल्प र भाषासँग मिल्ने नयाँ ब्याकरण ल्याएका छन् । उनका लेखहरु सरल सहज र मिठा हुन्छन् । बनेपामा बसेर उनले अन्य थुप्रै ठाउँमा रहेका नेपालीहरुको सेवामा समेत आफ्नो जीवन अर्पण गरेका छन् । नेपाली भाषालाई नयाँ आयाम दिने व्यक्तित्व हरिमंजुश्री अक्षरलाई अत्यन्तै सम्मान गर्दछन् ।
कार्यक्रममा हरिमंजुश्रीले आफूलाई साहित्ययात्रामा सहयोग पुर् याउन शुभेच्छुकहरुलाई सहृदय आभारपत्र प्रदान गरेका थिए ।