MEDIA IMMEDIACY: ASIA ONLINE
Online newspaper with a partisan flavor that takes local reporting beyond the usual recitation of press releases on Royal audiences.
Radio Nepal Online www.catmando.com/news/radio-nepal/radionp.htm
As reported by RSS, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's message of congratulations to president-elect of the United States, George W. Bush Jr., reads, in part: "Your election is a testimony to your quality of leadership and reflects the confidence and trust reposed in you by the people of the United States."
Such naive observations are plainly absurd besides being quite uncalled for.
Although it was in perfect order that the prime minister should have been quick to send off a congratulatory message to the individual who, on January 20, 2001, becomes the 43rd President of the United States of America, it is plainly ludicrous to extol Bush's "quality of leadership" - without Koirala, or the world, having any clue about that attribute.
Himal South Asian www.himalmag.com/
Radio broadcasting is the cheapest and quickest means of mass communications in Nepal. In a mountainous country like Nepal, radio broadcasting has proved to be a very effective medium in disseminating information, educating people and entertaining the masses. It has been providing various programmes aimed at creating mass awareness. The people in the hilly areas and many of the remote villages have no access to motorable roads nor to any communication and entertainment facilities. Illiteracy being a common feature among the people, little use is made of the newspapers, which have very limited and delayed circulation. Therefore, radio has been the most suitable means of disseminating information and providing entertainment to masses in Nepal.
Review of Passport Photos: Amitava Kumar, by MV Ramana
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000)
Kumar’s spirited response to “a set of pressing concerns in two nations and one world” is extremely timely. At no time in the history of this planet has the world been “one” as much as it is now. The forces of globalisation—or, to call a spade a spade, global capitalism—have made sure that no part of the world are left alone in the never ending search for “new markets.” Nothing—food, dress, culture—is immune to becoming a commodity. As Kumar writes in one of his poems entitled “India Day Parade on Madison Avenue”:I have lost India.Kumar is too clever to offer a simple solution to this predicament. But it is clear that his hopes are set on a range of progressive movements, both in the first and the third world, and solidarity between them. Immigrants are, of course, usually good activist-material. As Isabelle de Courtivron pointed out in a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Having a deep experience of two cultures is to know that no culture is absolute; it is to realise that social, political, and linguistic realities could be arranged in numerous other ways.” It is perhaps appropriate that Passport Photos ends with a list of immigrant organisations, many of which are at the forefront of the struggle for other ways of arranging these realities.
You have lost Pakistan.
We are now citizens of General Electric.
In this country, there are no new words for exile.
And if you have nothing to sell,
you have nothing to say that this,
or that, is indeed you.
Literature, Live - Susan Chacko on the recent NETSAP South Asian literary festival in Washington DC:
The tidal wave of diasporic South Asian writing is no longer news. What is surprising is that the first literary event bringing together a host of South Asian writers took place in 2000. In November, about a dozen authors and academics and an excited audience of about 200 thronged the South Asian Literary Festival organised by the Network of South Asian Professionals (NETSAP) in Washington DC. [Thorough analysis follows...]
Questions of location - Interview with author Meena Alexander:
....recently I was talking to Njabulo Ndebele, who is the lifetime president of the Congress of African Writers, who´s involved in their whole media project. They would show clips from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and then they would actually show scenes of people who were evicted from land, and land not in the cities but in the country: black people going back and saying, “this is my father´s land” or “this is my grandfather´s land and I want it back”. At the same time I was being taken around town by this photographer, who had done an extraordinary series of photos about the razing of Lanasia, which was the whole Asian settlement. It was incredible to see whole areas literally razed and people re-located, and you see these houses half standing, it´s just amazing. He took me through one of them, and said, “I knew this family and this is where they lived”, and “I had tea here,” and you see half of a house. It´s just quite something.
....Primo Levi says somewhere, “this barbarism is not elsewhere”, in other words, it´s not in Africa or Asia, it´s in Europe, and it´s at the heart of Europe. And I think it´s precisely that that the modernist project cannot allow us to see, nee? That barbarism is not only at the heart of Europe, it is in some way, or has been a part of the human condition. Particularly in a world that is being so quickly re-invented and I´m thinking about the speed of electronic data, the internet. As someone was saying at the conference in Sweden I’ve just come from, what people don´t realise is that the internet is also a series of spatial points that are connected—that you literally have a wire. So it is space, it is in a sense a re-invention of space and the meaning of location.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development www.icimod.org.sg/
The mountains and valleys of Nepal are abuzz with the sound of helicopters: the deep thuds of Russian built Mi-17s, the whine of French Ecureuils, and the distinctive double-tailed Kawasaki BK-117. While smaller choppers like the Kawasaki BK-117 and the Ecureuil AS 350 offer tourists a bird’s eye view of the Himalaya, it is the Mi-17, aptly nicknamed the “flying truck”, that has proved invaluable. The chopper can carry up to four tons of cargo and an additional 24 people—about as much as a Tata truck—and is the only feasible way to transport food supplies and construction material to Nepal’s remote districts.
The hills are alive with the sound of choppers and in many ways—for cargo transport, rescue operations and even tourism—that’s a good thing, but the question now is what happens to the porters, already among the most disadvantaged of hill communities. A single trip with the Mi-17 filled to capacity puts 500 porters out of work for five days. Choppers are important, but is the diverted income finding its way into the national economy or is it simply paying for expensive foreign technicians, imported machinery and fuel?
Kathmandu, 18 January
The Development and Communication Committee of Parliament has summoned government officials to a hearing to have them explain the rationale behind the recent decision to ban news and current affairs programming on independent FM radios.
Sources at the ministry said the decision was taken by journalist-turned-minister Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta himself in the aftermath of the street riots of 26-27 December. Some FM stations were blamed for inciting tensions by broadcasting jingoistic reports and songs. The government move comes at a time when Gupta himself has been under fire from the media for demanding an apology from the Indian actor Hrithik Roshan for rumoured comments about Nepal that incited the violence, but which were later proved to be false.
The only regional institution which spans the Hindu Kush-Himalayan range east to west and north to south, and the only institution which brings together mountain scientists and farmers in a common cause from all our diverse nationalities in a region that is difficult politically, physically, and economically.
..... As a diverse, knowledge-based institution, it can become an even more effective model for both the region and the mountain world as a whole. It develops, tests, and shares knowledge that helps poor mountain people have better and more sustainable lives ..... Our job is to work with mountain people to find solutions that they need.
See Picture of the Month
Video technology for awareness raising Mass media such as newspapers, radio and television have played a vital role in raising awareness in imparting information on current affairs and development at national and international levels. Unfortunately, most rural communities in developing countries, including Nepal, are located in remote areas where newspapers take months to arrive and radio and TV signals, if accessible, are not very clear. In addition, television is still an urban technology for most developing countries.
One of the best tools for working with issues related to people and resources is video technology. The technology is considered advantageous as it places the whole picture in front of the people and helps to a great extent to confront the issues facing them. Community video also serves as a education opportunity for adults. Experience from programmes in participatory video models in Nepal have shown that locally produced video was exciting and a better learning experience for the community as the video dealt with the true and immediate problems of the community. The local viewers were able to relate to the video as they saw neighbors and themselves instead of unknown faces. They were able to understand and come forward with idea to solve problems in the community.
Nepal Online: www.portalstocks.com/asia/city_news/nepal/nepal_news/nepal_news.html
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