Freedom Forum organized a strategic discussion program on Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) and its proposed bill on October 25, 2019. The main objective of the meeting was to share the brief highlights of proposed PSB bill and facilitate for common understanding among stakeholders, mainly the trade union representatives of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television including others.
The meeting stressed to revise the conflicting provisions for better future of PSB and its law in Nepal. The proposed bill already got the approval from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has sent the draft bill to the cabinet for final approval. It is assumed that the government own Radio Nepal and Nepal Television will be merged as a major public service broadcaster via proposed PSB law.
Different issues of the bill were discussed during the event. The major issues related to the draft bill of the discussion were the formation of the council and its functions, formation and function of executive committee, formation of recommendation committee, dismissal of chair and members, major fund of the broadcaster, submission of the annual report and accountability measure, public accessibility of the signal of broadcaster, reflection of diversity, quality of the content, editorial independence, strategic partnership including others. Tara Nath Dahal, Executive Director of Freedom Forum highlighted the issues of the draft bill and ask for participants to collaborate with stakeholders to reform the bill on time.
Participants from different trade unions of both Radio Nepal and NTV showed their commitment for collaboration with the policy advocacy organization for reforming draft bill. They focused the continuity of togetherness on policy advocacy and lobbying and creating awareness and common understanding in regards to the major flaw content of the bill among its stakeholders. Most of the speakers engrossed the role of PSB as a democracy building means which will help to engage citizen into the decision making process. Altogether 20 participants (female 5) participated in the strategic discussion event.