Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration, Amanlal Modi has said community radios played a significant role in the country’s movements for democracy and republicanism.
In his address to the Community Radio National Conference and the 17th AGM of the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB), Nepal, that began in Lalitpur today, the minister insisted the need for promoting community radio stations, citing them as an effective means of communication from the federal to the local level.
"The government is committed to press freedom," he said, underlining the need for policy reforms to further promote community radio. He urged the local governments to cooperate and collaborate with community radio to strengthen the people's right to information.
Participants of the program were univocal that "community radio stations are the effective and accessible means of information for the locals," while ACORAB Vice-President Vandana Danuwar said the community radio stations had weakened due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government had failed to take an encouraging approach to protect and promote them.
While taking part in the panel discussions, the participants said local governments had failed to incorporate community radio in their annual programs, accusing them of underestimating the presence and significance of the means of mass communication at the local level. It is said whenever the local media raises issues of transparency at the local level, it is mistaken as the protest against the local government.
ACORAB President Arjun Giri said community radio played a very important role in each crisis, but lately it had been largely ignored by the government.
At present, a total of 372 community radio stations are operational across the country.