Sonia Awale, Associate Editor
Welcome to this 1000th print edition of the Nepali Times weekly that also celebrates the 8 March International Women’s Day. It has been a two-decade long journey, during which my predecessors who have transitioned through this newsroom have witnessed history first-hand: the war, the 2001 palace massacre, the royal-military coup of 2005, restoration of democracy, a prolonged political transition, the earthquake, the Blockade and finally federal elections in 2017.
The earthquake struck on my first week as an intern at the Nepali Times five years ago. Reporting on the aftermath of the disaster was like being thrown off the deep end. In 2017, after completing my master’s in digital journalism, I returned to the paper with a focus on covering health, environment and the climate crisis.
Unlike other newsrooms, the Nepali Times does not have much hierarchy, and we are not rigid about beats. I was involved in the team that redesigned the online edition of the Nepali Times, which has seen a three-fold increase in reader numbers in the last three years. We have tried to bring the newsroom and the audience closer, refined our multimedia content and come up with original, in-depth coverage of a Nepal outside Kathmandu.
For the past two decades, the Nepali Times newsroom has pursued context and process, rather than simply covering events. This gives the hard copy edition a longer shelf-life, and the archives impart research value to Nepal-related topics that will be useful into the future.
Every week, www.nepalitimes.com has more than 100,000 unique visitors, most of whom have bookmarked the homepage and begin browsing there, instead of clicking on story links on social media. The average reader spends five minutes per page, which is remarkable in an age of short attention spans.
Nearly half of the Nepali Times’ readership online is women, mostly in the 25-34 age group. Contrary to common perception, more than 80% of readers are Nepali, and 35% reside in Nepal. Most diaspora readers work and study in the United States, India, the UK, Australia and the Gulf, in that order.
Thank you, readers for being with us the past 1,000 times. We in the Nepali Times newsroom look forward to the next 20 years of making sense of the three-pronged crises of democracy, media and climate that Nepal and the world face today – and trying to find solutions.