The daily newspaper Blast Times published in Nepali language in Eastern Nepal has become the first media in Nepal to declare the implementation of the Working Journalist Act made in 1995. Although the Act was made 14 years ago, no media house, including even the major national media, had implemented it. Instead, many media owners had been claiming that the implementation might cause the closure of media houses and that it might even hamper press freedom.
However, the Blast Times has demonstrated that the implementation is possible. But media with nominal circulation may face crisis.
Although the Federation of the Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) has remained almost indifferent to the need of the implementation of the working journalist act, this move by the Blast Times in Dharan will put some moral pressure on the umbrella organization of Nepali journalists to think forward on the issue of act non-implementation.
Journalists affiliated to major parties, including the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (UCPNM) have welcomed the declaration of the Blast Times.
One needs to wait some time to see if the multimillion media houses are capable of implementing the act.