Read also: 16,600 pages of Nepali Times on Digital Himalaya, Mark Turin
An essential element in achieving this broader goal was the page of translated articles ‘From the Nepali Press’ that became a regular, and much anticipated, weekly feature of the newspaper, ensuring that important local and national news received appropriate attention in Nepal’s English-speaking international community. Twenty years since the first issue, I caught up with Publisher and Editor Kunda Dixit to ask about the present and future of the Nepali Times.
Mark Turin: What were your goals in establishing the Nepali Times in 2000?
Kunda Dixit: We aimed for the Nepali Times to be a window on the whole of Nepal — not just Kathmandu — for the outside world. We opted for the ‘Berliner’ tabloid format with visually rich design, world-class production values, and a lively presentation of serious and not-so-serious issues. In short, a paper that people would read cover to cover. Actually, I could quote from the Editorial from NT #1 on 19 July 2000: ‘Nepali Times will aspire to be a true reflection of our times — a journal to record the life and times of Nepalis in the decades ahead.’
Have your goals changed over time?
We never had a big circulation compared to the Nepali-language broadsheets, but very soon after starting we sensed that we had influence disproportionate to our reach. The reason was obvious: the language, subscription price, and subjects we dealt with, put us in a different bracket. A former Finance Minister once told me the Nepali Times made him nervous because donors came to meetings on Fridays carrying the morning’s print edition. Not much has changed in terms of the mission and vision of the paper. We haven’t even tampered with designer Rustom Vania’s original masthead and page arrangement — it has stayed the same for 20 years.