Journalist Rishi Dhamala. (File photo)
KATHMANDU: The Press Council Nepal has called journalist Rishi Dhamala for a verbal statement regarding his behavior inside the Nepal Airlines plane last week.
The Council, which asked Dhamala for a written explanation, called for a statement after his response was “unsatisfactory”.
Dhamala’s response was discussed at today’s meeting of the Council’s Code of Conduct Monitoring Committee.
Council Chairman Bal Krishna Basnet informed that it was decided to call for an oral statement as he was not satisfied with the arguments put forward in the reply.
The Council concluded that Dhamala had tried to defend his wrongdoing by saying that it was the journalist’s work to break news.
After his verbal statement, the Council will take a further decision, said Basnet.
The Council had earlier asked him (Dhamala) to submit an explanation for creating a mess (inside the plane in which Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was traveling) while reporting from restricted and sensitive zones, within 24 hours.
Journalist Dhamala, who is also the owner of Prime Times Television, has been widely criticized for reporting from inside a plane and trying to enter the business class of the plane where PM Deuba was traveling.
Dhamala who had been a member of the Prime Minister Deuba’s India visit team had filmed and reported from the plane despite the air crew’s repeated request not to do so.
The Council had then asked Dhamla to submit an explanation within 24 hours as to why he had to enter the restricted area forcibly, ignoring the security sensitivities, and why it had to be broadcast live with footage.
The letter also noted Dhamala barging into the Nepal Bar Association meeting in the past.
Speaking to Khabarhub, Press Council Chairman Bal Krishna Basnet said that journalists should be more vigilant themselves to maintain the dignity of the media.
He said that the council would remain active to prevent incidents of violation of the code of conduct by journalists.