Freedom Forum has been concerned over the clarification sought from Chairperson of Simrik Air, captain Rameshwor Thapa, over the news stories about poor airlines service in remote parts of Nepal which were published in the Annapurna Post daily. Thapa is also the publisher of the daily.
On August 17, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) wrote to publisher of the daily, captain Thapa.
CAAN, the airlines regulatory body, has the jurisdiction to seek clarification on airlines service from the captain Thapa, also the airline owner, but has no authority at all to seek clarification on media contents from him as publisher.
In case of the complaint over news content, CAAN could complain with the newspaper editor rather than publisher of the daily. Similarly, it could move Press Council Nepal, the media regulatory body, for its grievances on news content, or even go to court.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the conflict of interest in media industry. Press freedom must not be in casualty of such conflict of interest.
Freedom Forum is for protection and promotion of press freedom. Once press is controlled, guided and suppressed, it is harmful to media freedom and democracy.