Government tries to throttle independent media still holding out

first_img News The information ministry has ordered all state agencies to place advertisements only with news media that respect the monarchy. At the same time, the Press Council’s annual ranking of publications by sales is biased in favour of those that support King Gyanendra (photo). Reporters Without Borders also condemns repeated threats and attacks by royalists against journalists working for the Kantipur press group Reporters Without Borders today condemned a series of measures adopted by King Gyanendra’s government in the past few days that discriminate against the independent press, especially directives determining how state advertising will be allocated to the media.“Nepal’s independent media have in turn been the victims of threats, discrimination and repression but they have continued to resist all of the government’s arbitrary actions,” the press freedom organisation said. “King Gyanendra is trying to realise his dream of doing away with Nepal’s vibrant independent press, which has been rejecting his dictates ever since his 1 February crackdown,” Reporters Without Borders added, appealing to the international community to step up support for the independent media “in order to save one of the kingdom’s last surviving democratic gains.”On 27 September, the information and communication ministry issued a set of directives on the assignment of state advertising entitled “One Door Advertisement Policy,” in which the government asked all state entities to place advertising only with media that “respect the nation, the nationality and the monarchy.”An annual report issued by the Press Council on 22 September contained a ranking of 322 publications by sales in which several that are critical of the government, including the magazines Chhalphal and Ghatana Ra Bichar, were demoted from category A to category B although they have a sizable circulation.Reacting to the new ranking, newspaper and magazine editors staged a protest in the office of Mathabar Singh Basnet, the Press Council’s chairman on 24 September, preventing everyone from entering. They said the ranking was unfair and biased, pointing out that publications that support the king such as the weeklies Rahashya and Janabhavana had been promoted to category A. The weekly which the press council’s chairman used to edit, Punarjagaran, is also now in category A. As a result, royalist publications will now have privileged access to state funds.The Kantipur press group is meanwhile the target of a campaign of intimidation by pro-King forces for its critics to the current government. A royalist official in the eastern city of Biratnagar threatened to attack Kantipur’s offices during a meeting on 18 September. An extremist Hindu group made similar threats a few days earlier. An army officer promised to break the legs of a Kantipur correspondent on 15 September after he wrote an article about violence against civilians. Leading Kantipur columnist Krishna Jwala Devkota received many phone calls and e-mails in August ordering him to stop criticising the security forces.Several senior officials have also made threatening and ridiculous comments about journalists who have “sold out to the foreigners.” Mathabar Singh Basnet, the Press Council chairman, accused the Nepalese media on 22 September of “dancing to the rhythm of the foreigners,” while the information minister said the press should work for the country and the king and not for foreign embassies.“If the international community supports Nepalese journalists and press organisations, it is to express its solidarity with a profession that is the victim of a repressive government,” responded Reporters Without Borders, which has provided financial support to imprisoned or threatened journalists. Nepalese journalists threatened, attacked and censored over Covid-19 coverage News Help by sharing this information September 29, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government tries to throttle independent media still holding out Nepal: RSF’s recommendations to amend controversial Media Council Bill June 8, 2020 Find out more NepalAsia – Pacific News to go further RSF_en News NepalAsia – Pacific Organisation May 29, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Nepal Under Chinese pressure, Nepal sanctions three journalists over Dalai Lama story May 17, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

CHANNEL 44 NEWS: Evansville Salvation Army Looking to Next Campaign After Red Kettle Campaign…

first_imgEvansville Salvation Army Looking to Next Campaign After Red Kettle Campaign StruggledThe Evansville Salvation Army is trying to bounce back after what they say was a tough Red Kettle Campaign season. They’re hoping their War on Hunger Campaign will be more successful and turn the situation around. “It really makes our War on…FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Press release: New crackdown on reckless directors

first_imgRead the response to the ‘Insolvency and corporate governance’ consultation Directors who dissolve companies to avoid paying workers or pensions could face hefty fines or be disqualified from running a business for the first time.The government is to press ahead with new plans to safeguard workers, pensions and small suppliers when a company goes bust.Under the shake-up, bosses will face investigation if they try to escape paying a dissolved company’s debts to their own staff and creditors.While the vast majority of UK companies are run responsibly, there are a minority of directors who deliberately dodge debts by dissolving companies then starting up a near identical business, with a new name. The practice is known as ‘phoenixing’ or ‘bumping companies’.Under the new powers the Insolvency Service will be able to fine directors or even have them disqualified.Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:“The UK is a great place to do business with some of the highest standards of corporate governance. While the vast majority of UK companies are run responsibly, some recent large-scale business failures have shown that a minority of directors are recklessly profiting from dissolved companies. This can’t continue.“That is why we are upgrading our corporate governance to give new powers to authorities to investigate and hold responsible directors who attempt to shy away from their responsibilities, help protect workers and small suppliers and ensure the UK remains a great place to work, invest and do business.”The Investment Association will be asked to investigate to see if action is needed to ensure that companies are giving their shareholders an annual vote on dividends.The government is further raising standards by ensuring bosses explain to shareholders how the company can afford to pay dividends alongside financial commitments such as capital investments, workers’ rewards and pension schemes.The government is also introducing new measures in response to its corporate insolvency consultation that will give financially-viable companies more time to rescue their business.These include: giving viable companies more time to restructure or seek new investment to rescue their business, helping to safeguard jobs enabling companies in financial distress to continue trading through the restructuring process, ensuring that small suppliers and workers still get paid a new restructuring plan to help rescue viable businesses and preserve jobs Directors who have dissolved companies to avoid paying workers or pensions could be disqualified or fined by authorities for the first time Struggling companies to be given more time to rescue the business and help safeguard jobs Boardrooms to explain to shareholders how they can afford to pay dividends alongside capital investment, workers’ rewards and pension schemes The government will also announce new measures to improve the quality of directors’ work by: developing proposals to introduce new and better training for directors to make them more aware of their legal duties. inviting ICSA – the Governance Institute to convene a group of investors and companies to develop a code of practice for external board evaluations; These measures, which will be set out in further detail in the autumn, are being put forward as part of the government’s response to the corporate governance and insolvency consultation, launched in March this year.The proposed reforms will help to strengthen the UK’s business environment which is a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy – the government’s long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future – ensuring the UK remains one of the best places to start and grow a business and is an attractive place to invest.Stuart Frith, President of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, said:“R3 welcomes the government’s announcement that it is progressing its corporate insolvency proposals, which should help to ensure that the UK’s insolvency and restructuring framework retains its world-class status.“Our members have long raised concerns that some directors are deliberately dissolving businesses to avoid paying their debts. A strengthened disqualification regime will be an important part of ensuring that directors are less likely to walk away from their responsibilities.”Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:“There is a concern among investors that some companies are utilising interim dividend payments in order to avoid shareholder approval. This removes the ability of shareholders to properly scrutinise the payment of dividends and risks undermining the strength of the UK’s corporate governance framework, which has long been a model respected around the world.“We welcome the opportunity to study how significant the issue of companies not seeking approval for dividend payments is, and look forward to working with the government to ensure that the investor voice continues to be a central plank in the UK corporate governance regime.”Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA: The Governance Institute said:“We are delighted to accept the government’s invitation to convene a group of investors and companies to develop a code of practice for external board evaluations.“We firmly believe that a high-quality independent board evaluation or board effectiveness review is valuable for companies, indeed organisations, of all sizes and in all sectors.“A rigorous and reported board evaluation can also provide comfort for investors and the market as a whole that the board has the necessary skills and tools to run the organisation as effectively as possible.”last_img read more