Fed up with all the dismal news? Bored with politics? Irked by nosey parker journalists? Then we have good news for you in 2078.
Under the new guidelines of the Ministry of Information and Communism (Motto: ‘No news is good news.’) the media will undergo a paradigm shit by playing a “constructive” role in covering news of new view towers, and the one bridge in Gulmi that did not collapse.
The following content has been vetted for veracity and is certified by the new office bearers of the Federal Democratic Union of Nepalese Journalists as fit for human consumption. It is a self-evident truth that the mass media plays an important role in our Feral Republic, so we can present the news without fear or favour, and let the potato chips fall where they may.
We take our adversarial role seriously to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, hold power to account and publish every hearsay that is fit to print. We make quotes up as we go along, and we think ‘off the record’ has something to do with the Guinness Book. So, forgive us our press passes.
However, we should not take for granted the freedom guaranteed to us in the Constitution. If we are serious about defending press freedom, talk show hosts should not waste time in small talk, they should henceforth challenge studio guests to hand-to-hand combat. Talking heads should also be in the business of breaking heads, because we are taught that if it bleeds it leads.
The Gandaki Provincial Government has decided not to blame messengers anymore, it will lock them up since we are now a Lock Tantric country. From now on, Nepali journalists don’t have to think twice about saying how awesome Comrade Awesome is. They only have to think once.
There is a nasty rumour going around that us presstitutes are not free anymore to be sycophantic and hypocritical liars. Just surf the tv news channels: our aforementioned freedoms are perfectly intact and we hacks have never been freer to lick, or kiss ass. It is true that there is complete freedom of press in Nepal for the media to transmit live on Facebook a blow-by-blow exclusive breaking new of ministerial gaffes, and publicly lynch anyone who disagrees with us.
Yet, we must not take our freedoms for granted and let complacency get the better of us. We must not forget to kowtow, when asked only to bow. We must always be prepared to print handouts in exchange for handouts. But unlike some other professions, we are not the type to take the envelope and run. Our journalistic code of ethics does not allow that — we take the cash out of the envelope return it (envelope, not cash), deduct 13% VAT and provide a receipt, and only after that, make a dash for it.
We hacks solemnly swear to be true to the salt and toe the party line, but only once adequately compensated. There are jobs in media for watchdogs and lapdogs, we are equal opportunity employers.
As you can see for yourself in the pages of our newspapers, and indeed in this column, our aforementioned freedoms are perfectly intact. There are no curbs on vowel movements in Nepal, and even if there was, we ignore them as we go about adding our bylines to headlines on deadlines.
We are free to report any and all political pronunciations in excruciating detail, leaving no item out, however trivial. Thanks to laws guaranteeing the freedom of expression and the freedom to make complete asses of ourselves, Nepal’s media today is more self-reliant, self-important, self-righteous and self-censored than ever before.