“Facebook & Twitter is full of trash! People are writing all sorts of non-sense thing on Social Media.”

I hear that quite often. I am asked about it quite often. There were times – such as after the April 25’s Earthquake – when I felt irritated, frustrated and even angered by what were written on Facebook and Twitter. Everyday, I see Facebook and Twitter; and I find things that people should not post there.

This morning I saw one of my students (and a journalist) posting news with a picture of a woman who was hanged herself. The other day, someone wrote a racial comment regarding a political group. Of course, there are things that shouldn’t have been posted on Social Media.

And, there are quite a lot of things that I come across everyday that I disagree – wholly or partly. Reading such posts gives be a kind of bad feelings – sometime a light one and sometime a hard one.

But I know not many people think exactly like me! I know that there are a lot of people who read my posts, disagree with me and feel the same way I felt. But this is what this is – the fact is the world had billions of people, a few hundreds of them we know, many of them read each on Social Media and no one of them think in the same way as other.

Let’s face the simplest truth: No one in the world think exactly as any other. There could be some agreement or similar thinking on some issues, but never in all issues. And, that’s one things that makes us human – different from animals. If we all think in the same way, then we will turn animals or robots.

Difference in opinions is what makes us intelligent human!

I always believed that no matter how much of trash you find on Facebook and Twitter, we should never think that it should be stopped by an external authority such as police or government.

That’s because people should express their opinions and feelings – it’s psychologically good to vent out and it’s also good for us to know and learn, despite our disagreement with opinions, what other people are thinking. We all should learn to respect other’s rights to express opinions and feelings.

If there are things we think that should absolutely not be written publicly (such as hate speech or gruesome photos or racial comments or insensitive comments), it should be changed through social media literacy. Helping people to understand what’s right and wrong (based on established social norms and laws, not on personal opinions) and the power of social media in spreading the opinions expressed. The Social Media Literacy is the only way out to help people.

#RaiseYourVoice: It’s Important to Express What You Think

I posts things – sometime knowing that they would not be well received by many. But I do write them anyway because that’s what I believe is the right thing to say at the given time and context.

A lot of things are always happening around us: political and social things. The things will have direct or indirect effect on us (more or less), so it’s important to express our opinion even if we know it’s not going to change anything. It’s our voice and people should know we exist with our opinions.

The beauty of social media is that it gives us a platform to express ourself, raise our voice and then feel good. Let us think twice before posting anything (to evaluate if they are right thing to post or not), but let’s post and keep posting!

(This post marks the Blog Action Day 2015!)

“By letting the newspaper print my works, I’ve probably undervalued my works.”

Dr Govinda KC during one of his self-financed free camps. Photo: Republica

Dr Govinda KC spoke those words in a packed hall of Hotel Annapurna on April 24, 2010 in an event that was organized by Nagarik & Republica daily to let 15 social heroes doing selfless service to the societies tell their stories. Dr KC was one of 15 and was most reluctant to appear on newspaper or speak in the event.

I was told it needed a lot of persuasion to ensure he is available for the event – and I clearly told the hall why he was reluctant.

A story that appeared on the same day in the newspapers’ supplements began with: “The surest way to locate Dr Govinda KC is to go looking for him in that part of the globe where a major natural disaster has just struck.” Read More →

Last year, I attended Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at the Ohio State University learning and honing my digital journalism skills. Not only the course, the program was fantastic as I got to know a few brilliant people there. One of them is Manuel Moreno, from Spain. We became more brothers than friends and spend a brilliant week together. I feel privileged to know him as he has a devoted himself in technology and runs Trecebits – a popular portal and is expecting publication of his first book in 2014.

After we both returned to our homes, he wanted to publish an interview at Trecebits. I couldn’t speak Spanish so he took all the pain to send me English questions, translate my answers and publish it in the popular website. Since it’s in Spanish, I thought I would keep the English version in my blog. Here it is:

How do you think journalism has changed since Internet and social networks became popular on the newsrooms?

When I first joined in as an intern reporter in one of the daily newspapers in Nepal some 14 years ago, there were no computers at newsroom. There were Macintosh computers to design pages in designing section. Since then a lot have been changed. Now newsroom in Nepal can not be imagined without computers and media are slowly getting hooked with social networks.

At a few newsroom, social networks are still blocked at peak work hour but they are slowly getting popular as source of information.

The change that social networks have brought include sourcing information and promotion of the news items. Journalists in Nepal mostly use social network to get tips for news stories and share a lot of things they write. Read More →

On Monday, 30 September, news came through that yet another journalist has been arrested under Clause 47 of Electronic Transaction Act 2008. Dinesh Acharya, editor-in-chief of Share Bazaar Weekly, was arrested as a case against him was filed by Nirvana Chaudhary, a heir of Chaudhary Group of industries and son of Nepal’s only Forbes billionaire.

At the Kathmandu District Court, where he was to be brought that day, I saw police bringing in people handcuffed together. A thought of a journalist being handcuffed alongside those accused on cases of drugs and violence horrified me for a few seconds. But Acharya was not among those dozen who were brought in an open truck. A police van later brought him – handcuffed but alone and in a better way. Read More →

In this another part of the History of Online Media in Nepal Series, I present two old interviews with Rajpal J Singh, who created a history in Nepal’s online media by founding The Nepal Digest. 

The Nepal Digest, began in April, 1992, is Nepal’s first e-magazine distributed on email. It was established by Rajpal J Singh, when he was 26 and had finished masters degree at the Northern Illinois University. The Nepal Digest is predecessor of Nepal’s online media and hence historically important to understand history of Nepal’s online media.

Rajpal J. Singh currently lives in New York.

I’m republishing two historical items related to Singh. The first is an interview as published on December 10, 1998 on The Nepal Digest itself; second interview published in The Kathmandu Post in January, 1998. Those interviews gives an idea of his life, beginning of The Nepal Digest, its status then and other related matters. Read More →