Book On Media-Politics Nexus

Senior journalist and academician Professor Parsuram Kharel describes how media and politics go side by side and what implications does this have in the society<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

Dec. 6, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-12 Dec. 03-2010 (Mangsir 17,2067)

At a time when several critics are debating the role of the media in the present context and when many people are pointing to the nexus of media, corporate sector and politics and politicians for many ills in the society, Professor Kharel has written a book, the first of its kind, that goes to inform on the actual role of politicians, politics and media and their interactions.

Several authors have written books on Nepal’s media sector. However, senior journalist and Professor Kharel’s books are different from all those. Having worked as a journalist for more than three decades and having been involved in teaching journalism, professor Kharel brings in a rich experience and extensive knowledge as an author. This is what one can see in this book.

“This book takes a critical approach to the practices and prospects of media-mediated communication, and the link role media play between the general public and politicians. It is designed to help perspectives and conceptual understanding. The purpose is to delve into relationship between politics and news media in particular. The primary objective of the book is to discuss the role news media has in informing society about political affairs and the functioning of political institutions,” writes professor Kharel in his author’s note.

A prominent media critic and columnist writing on national and international issues, Professor Kharel knows ins and outs of linkages between Nepalese politics and media. “The author, a well-known media person in his own right who has long innings in Nepalese journalism, takes a critical look at the practices and prospects of media-mediated communication and the pivotal role they play between the general mass and politicians in general, and the relationship between politics and news media in particular,” writes Prof. Ananda Shrestha in his preface.

Whether it is in developed or developing countries, the nexus between politicians, political parties and media often mislead the people. In the present context of Nepal, one can see this growing nexus. “ Knowing fully well that political communication not only involves journalism but a host of other disciplines like political science, economics, history, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, science and technology, the writer deliberately focuses on the relationship between the government and political parties, their leaders and print media and to some extent the broadcasting stream as well,” writes Prof Shrestha.

Divided into 12 different chapters, the book by Prof. Kharel discusses the role of media in various forms and facets. The book deals with the role of media in regime change, its partisan interest and misuse of freedom for the sake of personal interest.

The author highlights how media is misused by various interest groups. Instead of working as a watch dog, media in the author’s views is widely misused for political and other personal gains. This is what is the reality of Nepal’s politics and media.

“The abuse of media is also highlighted in that some instead of fulfilling their assigned role as faithful ‘watch dogs’ of society turned into ‘hound dogs’ and ‘lapdogs.’ Greasing public opinion, the concept of free and fair media, national interest and patriotism, code of ethics etc are also discussed at length,” writes Prof. Shrestha.

Based on his own collections of information of various political developments, Pof. Kharel critically evaluates the news disseminated by the media in various stages of political upheavals and changes.  The author elaborates how information is generated and communicated to various publics in modern communication, and delves into characteristics of communication structure and conflict.

Author Professor Kharel has seen more than three decades of transformation and evolution of media in Nepal. He is an eyewitness to media’s changing role. Thus, this book has a great value to all the readers who want to know about the media and politics in Nepal.

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