Victim of political vicissitudes
K.P. Oli sang the praises of press freedom and pluralism when he was in opposition but, since becoming prime minister in February 2018, he has tried to gag journalists by getting parliament to pass extremely draconian legislation. The new criminal code adopted in August 2018 contains several provisions that hamper investigative reporting and restrict criticism of public figures. The government has also tried to get parliament to pass a law providing for a journalistic content regulator whose members would be named directly by the executive. Another disturbing development is the “anti-media rhetoric” which government representatives have begun using and which has been widely reproduced in the government’s newspapers, radio stations and TV channels. With the threat of prosecution and continuing violence in the field, the environment for journalists working for independent media outlets has been extremely difficult.
106 in 2019
33.40 in 2019