Distasteful cartoons!

Cartoons are meant to be satire and humor but there are instances when they crosses the line of humor and become distasteful. And, I find the cartoons published in Nepal’s main two national dailies – Kantipur and Nagarik – just distasteful.

The following cartoon was published in Kantipur’s front page on October 13.

(c) Kantipur Publications

The following cartoon was published in Page 3 of Nagarik on October 14.

(c) Nepal Republic Media

Kantipur daily received a lot of criticism and complaints about the cartoon (as indicated by their own front-page sorry note) and they were forced to publish a note on the front page apology note on October 14.

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It happens only in Nepali TVs!

Incident 1 (ABC Television): Two girls, tenth graders, were interviewed by the television. They were arrested for prostitution along with two pimps. The faces were blurred during most of the interview but frequently they were visible. And, the reporter named the school they were studying twice. For what?

Incident 2 (News24 Television): In a news item about tension after abduction and murder of a school boy in West Nepal, the TV channel live interviewed a reporter and repeatedly the video that showed a naked body being pulled out. Face and private parts of the dead body was blurred but nevertheless, the question is for what it was necessary to show the video?

Incident 3 (Sagarmatha Television): The national television channel LIVE broadcast the launching of a music album from a five-star hotel in Kathmandu. I have never heard about LIVE broadcasting of such a program in a national channel.

LIVE broadcast of album launch! Thanks to Umesh Shrestha for picture!

These three representative events happened in last few days. The mushroomed television channels are competing with each other to be recognized; and using any thing that could increase their viewership (no matter what the ethical standard is).

There are so many things to complain on the ethical standard of the news and program shown on such television channels – more so because they employ fresh reporters who are normally not educated or trained in journalism. Sadly, television is such a powerful media that the reporters consider themselves privileged and demand facilities accordingly.

In many occasions, journalists who are into the profession for long enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong, complain, quietly, about the questions those television reporters ask and the behavior they show during reporting. And, the seniors at television rarely care because they need something to show – and they have not enough human resource to train those reporters.

I am not saying print and radio are all standard and ethical but they are far better than televisions. And, organizations such as Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Press Council Nepal and other NGOs – with slogans to work for media – should think of training programs for those reporters working in televisions.

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