Nepal – Press Council (1999)

Code of Conduct, approved by the Press Council by a meeting held on 17 January 1999, having unified the existing codes of the Press Council and the Nepalese Federation of Journalists.

Whereas, in order to make the press sector and journalism responsible and prestigious by uniting the journalists in the bond of Unity, and to make them responsible towards all human beings by protecting the democratic norms guaranteed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 2047 (1990) and; whereas, with the objectives of basic goal to circulate information to the public in general;

Now, therefore, this code of conduct, 2055 (1999 A.D.) has been issued having unified the existing code of conduct of Press Council and the code of conduct of the Nepalese Federation of Journalists.

1. Definitions, Extension and Commencement:

In this Code of Conduct:

(1) “Journalist” means the journalist as defined in the Press Council Act, 2048 (1992) and in the Constitution of the Nepalese Federation of Journalists 2050 (1993) and it also includes the working journalists.

(2) This code of conduct shall apply to all Nepalese journalists working within the Kingdom of Nepal.

(3) This Code of conduct shall be deemed to have been commenced from such date as the Press Council decides to introduce it pursuant to sub-section 7(b) of the Press Council Act, 2048 ( 1992).

(4) “Party” means both the complaining and alleged party.

2. The journalist should not commit the following acts:
(1) On the publication and transmission of news and opinions, the journalist being honest and impartial should be presented in favour of truth and justice. No act should be done against these goals.

(2) Since the Kingdom of Nepal is a common garden of the multi-linguistic, multi-religious and multi-cultural Nepalese people, the journalists should not publish and transmit directly and indirectly the news contrary to this norm.

(3) No news shall be presented having twisted the spirit and reality of the news and the advertisement as news.

(4) The journalist shall not have to publish and transmit the news that may assassinate the character and violates the right to privacy of a person.

(5) The journalist should not disclose the source of the news.

(6) Journalism should not be used to fulfill one’s personal interest. No one shall have to take an intention to obtain undue financial benefit or other advantages having made the news as a medium.

(7) No one shall publish and transmit any materials as news and opinion that may cause adverse effect to the social structure and violates professional ethic and deviated and excited materials.

3. Complaints and procedures thereof:
(1) If any complaint along with factual evidences is submitted to the Press Council stating therein that a journalist has acted against the Code of Conduct as directed in Section 2, the Press Council shall forward a 7 days notice to the alleged party to appear in the Council within 7 days, excluding the time for journey, along with the evidences that may prove his innocence, if any.

(2) Where any news is published and transmitted contrary to the conduct as provided for in sub-clause (1), if the complainant fails to institute a complaint within 15 days from the date of publication and transmission of such news, no complaint shall be entertained. Provided that the Press Council may allow to institute the complaint at any time, if the complaint could not be instituted within the time limit by the reason of force majeure situation.

(3) The Press Council shall, upon receipt the note of defense of the alleged person pursuant to sub-clause (1) of Section 3, appoint the date for discussion among the complainant and the respondent and decide upon the complaint. The opinion of the majority shall prevail on it.

4. Provisions relating to decisions and Execution thereof:
If it deems that any party commits any conduct prohibited by Section 2 of this Code of Conduct, the Press Council shall make a decision and take action respectively as follows:

(1) It shall cause to communicate the complaint submitted by the complainant as press release through means of communication, and cause to apologise or to rebut through news.

(2) After the transmission of press release pursuant to clause (1), if apology or rebutment is not made, the Press Council may recommend to the concerned authority to suspend the press pass of the alleged person.

(3) After the suspension of press pass made pursuant to clause (2), if any one fails to follow the act pursuant to clause (1), the Audit Committee of Circulation of the Press Council shall remove media of the convicted party from the evaluation procedure.

(4) If anyone fails to follow the act from the evaluation procedure under clause (3), the Press Council shall recommend to the concerned authority to suspend all facilities provided by His Majesty’s Government.

(5) If anyone fails to follow the liability of clause (1) even after suspension of the facilities caused by occurrence of the circumstances under clause (4) above, such a party shall not be entitled to obtain the assistance from the welfare fund. Notwithstanding anything in clause 3, if the complainant or alleged party jointly request for a compromise, such a dispute shall, ipso facto, be settled.

(Approved by the Press Council by a meeting held on 2055.10.7 (17 January 1999), which was unified by the joint meeting of Press Council, Norms Determination and Complaint Sub-Committee and Task force formed by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, the Code of Conduct of Journalists, 2049 (1993) introduced by the Press Council and Code of Conduct of Journalist, 2050 (1993) issued by the Birgunj Declaration of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.)

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