Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Online Media in Nepal: A profile study

Posted in Global Media, Journalism, Media, Online Media by Shekhar on April 30, 2011

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By: Shekhar KC

Bachelor in Media Studies, Kathmandu University

Historical Context of Online Media:

World History of Online media

· 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the internet. His invention changed the scenario as the WWW offered greater capacity, flexibility, immediacy, permanence and interactivity.

· Chicago Tribune of USA began its online venture, the Chicago Online, in 1992. This is the considered the first online media.

· On January 19, 1995, the first newspaper to regularly publish on the Web, the Palo Alto Weekly in California, begins twice-weekly postings of its full content.

History of Online media in Nepal:

· Before June 1994 Nepal Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) and Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists had used email services as trials.

· On July 15, 1995 Mercantile started providing full online access operating via a lease line through Nepal Telecom with its backbone in Singapore

· Himal Media started archiving its publication, Himal South Asia, in its own website himalsouthasia.com in 1997.

· Mercantile established South-Asia.com in 1998 when it archived seven daily and weekly newspapers. 1999, it moved to NepalNews.com paving ways for more newspapers

· http://www.newslookmag.com was established on 4 July 1999 as the first Online journal by Dharma Adhikary which provided link to largest collection of news of nepali events and public affairs. Later in 2005 it was re-established as http://www.nepalmonitor.com. The reason was the ban imposed by Royal Takeover on 2005 on which Fomer King Gyanendra was responsible.

· Kantipur Publications established KantipurOnline.com on April 13, 2000. At initial phase, KantipurOnline.com

· On February 2000 kantipuronline.com was established.

· On 12 September 2001 http://www.nepalipost.com was established.

· On December 15, 2002 Kamana Group of Publications began newsofnepal.com. Lately all broadsheet dailies along with weeklies and smaller media are available online.

· The first ever Blog in Nepal is United We Blog (blog.com.np), was established on October 1, 2004.

· Other popular pioneer websites were samudaya.org (http://www.samudaya.org/) peacejournalism.com (http://www.peacejournalism.com/), NepalinewsUSA.com(http://www.nepalinewsusa.com/) citizen journalism(http://www.cjnepal.org/) Canada Nepal Vision(http://www.canevision.net/) dcnepal.com(http://www.dcnepal.com/) etc

The study corpus of my research are three websites listed as follows:

www.nepalmonitor.com

www.nepalitimes.com

http://www.reuters.com/

Now let me put light on the different aspects of these websites and add some comparative views.

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Websites Foundation:

Nepal Monitor renowned as "Nepal’s first online news magazine “was originally established as http://www.newslookmag.com in 1999 A.D from USA by a student named Dharma Adhikary as a part of his Online Journalism class in the Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia.

Reuters.com is currently owned by Thomson Reuters but before 2008 it was owned by Reuters Group PLC which used to focus its information on Financial Market Data. Originally Reuters was established in October 1851 whose popularity rose later due to its act of publishing scoop news abroad. Today almost every major news outlet in the world now subscribes to Reuters’ services, which operates in over 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages. — In July 1999, TIBCO Software completed an IPO on NASDAQ; Reuters retains a substantial proportion of the shares. Reuters announced, in early 2000, initiatives designed to migrate core business to an internet-based model.

The foundation of online venture of Nepali times dates back to some 10 years ago tentatively in 2001. According to the web master of the nepalitimes.com Rubeena Mahato, the websites contains not only the content of it’s printed version but also it publishes longer and full-fledged form of media content with associated links.

Objective

As stated earlier, Nepal Monitor was established as an individual project to fulfill the credit of online journalism class by a student in Missouri School of Journalism in Colombo. Besides that Dharma Adhikary, the founder of this website shares that the website was founded to make it "one stop center" for all the information regarding public affairs and analytical news-views of Nepal for Nepalese diaspora staying in America. "It was somehow fun-fun task"- whispers Dr Adhikary whose says that those day of starting a website make him feel nostalgic about his student life in USA.

Whatever the objective Nepal Monitor was founded to serves before 2000, Today according to Dr. Adhikary The online journal is aimed at professionals (journalists and media entrepreneurs, academicians, development and cultural workers, lawyers, policymakers, administrators, etc)— people with expertise. It serves as a forum for the sharing of their expert views among themselves and among the wider public.

In near future, Nepal Monitor will be institutionally mobilized as the important information dissemination mechanism of his recently established (2009) organization "Media Foundation" which focuses on media and public affairs and will cover any issues of significance to the public, whether they are governmental, community-related or entrepreneurial. Reuters.com is a multi-national news agency by Thompson Reuter which runs via global network communication.
The primary objective of Nepali times.com is other than just digital archiving of it’s printed version. According to Rubeena Mahato of Nepali times, the media house receives numerious articles with assisting photographs and audio-visual material which is difficult to fit in the paper version so the online outlet has provided the readers with full version of the text with associated links, audio-visual material and added informations which can’t be included in the paper version. Blogs of Nepali Times Staff is another feature of the online venture of the nepali times.

Types of content: News (entertainment, political, social,), advertisement, audio-visual content, features (news and photo), horoscope, currency, movies and events details, flight details

Nepal Monitor publishes annual report of multi-national organization like Asian Development Bank and UNESCO which expresses serious concerns for the current affairs of Nepal. For example recent report published by Committee for protecting Journalist (CPJ‘s) 2010 Impunity Index shows that in Nepal Seven Murders of media personal were unsolved. Similarly it doesn’t publish entertainment news nor do photos like Nepali Times and Reuters. Follow up stories on media controversies or journalistic attack events and timely interviews with media persons are updated in Nepal Monitor. Its contents are more like semi-academic or research based texts which are eligible to get published in journals.

Nepal Monitors provides links to the important ministries, film industries offices, governmental and non-governmental institutions, colleges and universities of Nepal etc. It’s more like a spot from where people access becomes wider and more systematic.

Nepali times published politico-analytical article by hiring experts and columnist throughout the national and international boundaries as well depending on the area covered by the article. Its contents are of more diversified in regard to the feature and photo-stories related to socio-economic, political, international, and national and opinion poll surveys. Also its vacancy spot increases its demand among the readers. The staff writers are allotted with their personal blogging and the editorials have a profound impact on the people as well. Moreover, the paper covers lifestyle, health and environmental issues along with the international relations and public affair. Its outreach has extended up to a page in face book.

Ownership:

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Nepali times is owned by Himal Media Pvt. Limited, a private media institution which publishes Himal, Wave and Himal Khabar Patrika simultaneously. Nepali times.com is

Nepal Monitor is an individual venture by Dr. Dharma Adhikari with the information input from other journalists as well.

Reuters On 15 May 2007, Canada’s The Thomson Corporation merged with Reuters in a deal valued at US $17.2 billion. Thomson now controls about 53 percent of the new company, named Thomson Reuters. The chief of Thomson Reuters is Tom Glocer, the former head of Reuters. TIBCO Software

Sources of revenues

Nepal Monitor.com does not have any external sources of revenue apart from Dr. Dharma Adhikari’s personal contributions for the Annual registration of the site’s domain name which accounts for $10.00 per year. The lack of manpower has created an impediment to the revenue process as there are unable to include the advertisements. Hence, its contributors are freely volunteering in the website.

Nepali Times.com is a sefl-sustained online websites because according to Mahato of Nepali times, the websites receives revenue from advertisement placed there which has nothing to do with placement in the paper version.

Reuters In 1988, Reuters formed a joint-venture with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to build an automated futures trading system named "Globex" at a cost of over USD$100 million

Advertisements and commercials, Financing by donors, Investment from share holders

Legal status

Nepal monitor.com is registered from Los Angeles (LA). Albeit, the domain name is registered from abroad, its web space is embedded in movable type.

Nepali times.com is registered in Nepal. Reuters.com is registered in it’s headquarter city London.

Organogram and staffing-

Nepal Monitor.com has a 6 – member co-editorial team who contribute their analytical and perspective articles irregularly. Articles are published on a rolling basis. The journal is published and edited by Dharma Adhikari. Co-editor is Chiranjibi Kafle. The core team of volunteers includes Krishna Sharma (staff writer), Babu Ram Fyuba (research), Prabhat Kiran (research) and Chhabi Adhikari (IT).
Nepali Times has mobilized a full time staff for uploading content on web apart from other technical stuffs. Rubeena Mahato of Nepali times states that she has been uploading content on web in coordination with other editorial members from paper versions. Online section of Nepali Times receives content via email and then it is uploaded by a online staff.

Mechanism for gate-keeping: filtering, censoring, exaggeration

Nepal Monitor manages its website published content through sequential process. First the topic for writings is suggested to the contributors then it is accessed in terms of viability and then drafted and edited thoroughly. At times articles are rejected when the sufficient facts and figures along with proper citations are missing.

The Nepal Times organizes weekly- board meeting before setting out in print and online. A staff is mobilized full- time for updating the content. The editors of the print version participate in the online- editing process as well.

Reuters.com is an international media house which mobilizes its team members in the various parts of the world along with collaborating with the local media.

Provision for feedback: (Letters to the editor, commentary box, email, telephone; no. of readers and website visitors)

Nepal Monitor has its commentary box for immediate feedback. Also, Dr.Adhikary organizes a weekly discussion program on its published content and serious issues. He often entertains telephone feedback and queries from the readers.

The Nepali times.com has the letter to the editor along with email feedback services. One of the noticeable feedback mechanisms is its filtering process of comments. Nepali times receive comments national and foreign readers from different corners of the world but all comments are not accepted. According to Mahato of Nepali times, the comments which projects racism, individual anger or against nationalism etc are not accepted.

Target audience:

Nepal Monitors targets professionals (journalists and media entrepreneurs, academicians, development and cultural workers, lawyers, policymakers, administrators, etc) — people with expertise. And also the aspiring journalist who want have real craze in this journalism sector.

Reuters: International financial business organizations, citizens, institutions, Foreign market throughout the world.

Nepali times target diplomatic communities, foreign readers, and Nepali diasporas.

Appraisal of the content:

1. Geographical coverage: Nepali Times.com focuses more on the national news then on the international issues. Nepalese living on Diaspora are also highlighted.

Nepal Monitor.com is more specific in terms of its coverage as it only deals with the media-related and academic and scholarly articles.

Reuters.com being an international media house believes in the diversification and the world-wide dissemination of information relating to various genres.

2. Diversity of issues: Nepali Times.com highlights the national, cultural, environmental, health, sports, and travel and Nepalese lifestyles.

Nepal Monitor.com highlights the peace-building, serious and developmental issues related to the nation by giving a global perspective.

Reuters.com has a vast coverage in terms of its content, scope and nature of the issues. The burning global issues are highlighted. The showbiz and entertainment section is explored at great depth.

 

Competition, Convergence and Symbiosis: Online Media

Posted in Global Media, Media by Shekhar on April 17, 2011

Lecture By: Asst. Prof Nirmala Mani Adhikary, KU

Date: April 15, 2011

(Big Note: Grammatical mistakes are not to be taken seriously in this note.)

The class was somewhat interactive i.e sir asked questions and students replied. Incase students didn’t address the question sir used to do it. How the advent of Online media has changed the concept of traditional Mass Communication? Interms of sender, only professional communicator had access to the medium but now anybody can disseminate the information or news.

In next class all students are supposed to bring the data regarding how many Nepalese’s has director, secondary or tertiary access to internet? Also in April 22, 2011 Friday, all students are supposed to come up with their presentation slide over their respective websites profile. The question goes like below:

Select any three website at least (one from Nepal; at least one a news portal; at least one in Nepali medium; at least one from USA; at least one owned by independent non-conglomerate non-crossholding owners). Then prepare profile of the websites. The profile must contain following information.

– website foundation

– objective

– types of content

– ownership

– sources of revenues: advertisement payment existing or not;

– legal status- registration, legal provisions for that kind of websites,

– organogram and staffing:

– mechanism for gate-keeping: what kind of moderation: whether there is editorial board;

– provision for feedback

– target audience:

– appraisal of the content

Students are supposed to present the profile of following websites on 22 April 2011.:

www.inseconline.com

www.mysansar.com

www.theguardian.com

www.ventzine.com

www.twitter.com

www.namrakura.com

www.unicefvoy.org.com

www.eanepal.com

www.facebook.com

www.nepalnews.com

www.samriddhi.org.np

www.wikipaedia.com

www.environmentnepal.com.np

www.usdaily.com

www.dautari.org

www.nagariknews.com

www.brickclean.net

www.weeklynepal.com

www.anotherme.org

www.usnepalonline.com

www.navabharattimes.com

www.cybersansar.com

www.neptv.org

www.onlinekhabar.com

www.bbcnepali.co.uk/nepali

www.wikileaks.com

www.voanews.org

www.mfashionista.com

www.bishwadeepweekly.com

www.pokharacity.com

www.nepaljapan.com

www.youtube.com

Apart from Assignment details, the following portion contains the lecture notes of Online media.

We discussed three concepts. First was competition among online and traditional mass medium. Second was the existence of online media as the convergence of traditional media content.

Interms of message how online media is different from traditional media? The information has become more personalized but earlier it used to be more formalized. For example certain segments, categorised content are preferred in Radio and TV stations but now a days the message might not be in particular format.Online content may not be decoded so easily as the messages of traditional media like print.

Regulation mechanism of Online media differs from place to place. In Nepal it should be registered in the Department of Information. Regulatory mechanism of Online media in Nepal Telecommunication Authority. NTA authorizes NTC, N-cell and other mobile services. But the regulatory mechanism may be difficult because the sender may be anonymous. Proxy sites may be there. Nirmal shared us that once when he was working in Insec online, he had to report on the blockage of cpnm.org, the then sites of Maoist. Sir, to view the site details, opened guardster.com through which he had access to cpnm.org. What are Mirror sites?(search in Google)

Discuss the Online media competition, convergence and symbiosis with examples? (this question may come in final exam in 10 marks).

Print media has other versions in todays digital age for example Print media-Newspapers; e-newspapers, Magazine; e-zines, Books; e-book

Broadcast media has other versions too like Radio: podcasting, TV-video-casting, Film-e-movies;, recording

lets focus on the difference between online books and e-books? Not all e-books are online books. Popular book website namely www.4share.com provides online-books. Once online-books are saved in the dextop they are e-book. All books should be converted into e-book before they are uploaded to web. Once they are available online, they are online- book. Again when we download it into dextop they are e-book which we can use even we are out of internet connection.

In case of podcasting, we don’t have any radio stations but sound-signals already converted into digital signals or information in audio format which can be accessed online.

Standardization: It is a important terminology in media. It’s the principle of producing the content in particular format, proceed further through particular mechanism and follow particular pattern of dissemination. How we differentiate opinion article and news from features is related with the concept of standardization. for details visit www.adhikary.wordpress.com and see related article.

We are terming online-radio, online-television because the contents are based on the standardization followed by Radio and television. There are online-only-radio like radio Dobhan. But there may be radio content being disseminated with the presence of any such radio stations then that is podcasting. All those audio-visual content which are available online are podcasting.

Physically no radio but online audio content are broadcasted in real time referred to online-radio-only. Conventionally former two type of online radio content could be recognized as podcasting.

Online form of print media are E-newsletter and E-zine like  www.ventzine.com. E-book could be sold through online and also kindle. Kindle is something like i-pad which can read books.

OPAC: Its full form is “Online public access catalogue”. Here all the information regarding book stored in the library can be accessed. In Nepal OPAC is  available in National Library situated in Harihar Bhawan. They provide ISNN for journals and magazine. In the similar manner For books we use ISBN provided by TU Central library.

Film: They have online version. For example Slumdog Millionaire was planned to release through theatre and DVDs. Some sites like torrents can provide film online.

Now we have all conventional mass media converged into one form of media whether it is radio, television or print. And that is online media.

Competition: The issue of competition referred to competition for revenue, competition for audience and content. People might stop subscribing newspaper if they have access to newspaper online. In the context of US and British, decrease in subscribing newspaper has been seen due to advent of online  e-newspaper. Direct sales revenue and advertising sales revenue has decreased in certain places of the world but not in Nepal. Competition between print and online: Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Times got collapsed because audience shifted to online but advertiser are there. The profit seemed not be as per earlier. In Nepal, janastha weekly website charge for online news. In www.weeklynepal.com most of weeklies are available but in Janastha the case is different.

www.harilo.com is e-commerce site famous in Nepal nowadays.

symbiosis in Online media: Traditional media has their won existence but they existing in symbiotic association with Film industry. there are television channels completely making films as their agenda or core content of broadcasting.

Demassification: like wise how we studies the concept of market segmentation in Integrated Marketing Communication, the concept of demassification is broadly discussed in the context of online media too. to identify specialized market segments. What Cybersansar.com target is different from Onlinekhabar.com. Cybersansar is devoted to show-bizz industry while online khabar publish textual-audio-visual content of different themes. In online media such demassification occurs. likewise youtube being bought by google marks the different kind of ownership in online media.

Scope of Online media?: Online media might have many functions as of that regular and traditional mass media like information, surveillance, linkage, advertisement, transmission of values etc. but the unique one is the existence of Virtual community; networking among vast array of people. In case of radio there are listeners club, in case of newspaper there are readers club but then there the physical presence is mandatory or it is needed. On other side this virtual world can be seen as the analogy of Shankaracharya’s interpretative “mithya” world. The virtual world is there but it doesn’t demand physical existence.

Benedict Anderson is the write who coined imagined community who has explained nationalism, sports fandom etc. We have virtual version of our own Nepal. In google earth, one can locate and tag their own home address and form their won virtual world.

Netigen is counterpart of network like citizen of country.

Online media has exerted influence on different domain.

Social : Shadi.com and Second Saadi.com (for widowed or divorced person).

Cultural: transmission of values of certain culture

Economic:

Political :

Education: online university; tele-medicine; tele-marketing. We can conduct online classs.

e-commerce, e-banking, virtual tour are examples of benefits of internet.

Finally Nirmala sir made Devyani and Usha tell the anecdotal story of “ dudh pokhari banauda pani pokhari”

Online literacy program will promote the pertinent use of Internet, so in order tot make effective use of Online for the betterment of the national and society, online literacy program should be conducted. Once when all the people have access to Internet then there is no guarantee that the access to internet will turn out to be positive. So in such case Online literacy program play the significant role.  Internet should be used Not only for visiting pornographic class, not for chat and games or entertainment but also research, promoting peace and development, education and awareness program etc. Online media has Social, cultural , economic, political significance too.