May 9, 2013
Each language needs its worthy champion, each culture a virtuous hero. A separate but simultaneous revival of Newari, Nepali and Maithali art and culture is a must for the emergence of “Nepali” Renaissance, if ever there will be one.
May 8, 2013
I have a dream that one day our country will be self-reliant and our people rich enough to fund its poor journalists and petty politicians.
— Salik Shah (@salik) May 8, 2013
March 18, 2013
Two old friends meet in Delhi to talk about where journalism is and where it is going, through their personal stories.
Sanjeev Ghimire is a writer, editor and publisher from Kathmandu, now in Delhi. He is working on Foreigner, an international magazine devoted to readers in exile.
Salik Shah started Kathmandu Speaks in 2006 and he quit Kathmandu two years later. He was working at the largest news portal in the country. He copy-edited a U.S. newspaper for a year and then moved on to pursue advertising and filmmaking.
He now runs Pulpflow: a design, strategy and communication firm in Delhi.
Sanjeev Ghimire, Editor Foreigner:
Talking about my personal experience in journalism in Nepal isn't very encouraging. I'd rather put it this way: it's been a good learning experience.
I started off with one of the best media organisations in Nepal, which again as a fresher and considering the market and everything. It was not very highly-paid kind of thing. I had to support my family and personal dynamics was also involved in it. So it was like switching one job to another... It's not necessarily that switching job doesn't help you grow. It should actually help you grow. In my case though, it was more like switching a job hoping for better pay, hoping for better growth but then eventually I ended up landing at a worse place than where I was working before. [Laughs.]
When I try to discern, decode the undercurrent, I can feel it's like: people try to set up media organisations not to promote journalism or strenghten the institution of democracy but to boost their ulterior motives... business motives, political and corporate connections and things like that. And you eventually become a victim of that. A lot of media organisations are also... They are like seasonal things in Nepal. [Laughs.]
I don't think media organisations in other parts of the world function that way. But in Nepal, it's like a seasonal thing. When there is political change. There's always been a tussle between democracy and authoritarinism in Nepal. Whenever one kind of force come to power, or try to come to power, they invest in media tacitly. After the cause is accomplished, the media organisation also gets folded up. I was being played in that kind of dynamics and eventually, over the years, after changing so many media organisations and getting this notority of being "inconsistent," I decided that enough is enough. Nepal--it's like complete suffocation, complete stagnation for me. I'd just have to move and I couldn't think of a better option than India.
Salik Shah, Founder Pulpflow:
I think Sanjeev is right. It has taken him so many years to understand the "undercurrents" as he put it.
I feel I was very young, you know, and I really didn't much about the principles. I was always more interested in doing things than theorising. I was always doing... I grew up reading these [Indian] newspapers and I felt that we weren't doing journalism the right way.
I grew up in Kathmandu and we had different opinions of what things should be. We didn't see Maoists or any political parties with the same kind of starry-eyed, naive perspective... That naive way of looking at political parties and believing that they could rescue us; that they could save us and take the country forward. We didn't believe in all that shit.
So for me, Kathmandu Speaks was an outlet. For me, new media, new kind of journalism, my kind of journalism, my kind of way was... you know, it was natural. For me it didn't take... I was a kid when I started coding and building all those sites and all those stuff... So for me it was just a natural part of who I am.
But it turns out that I'm one of those extreme..., you know. Someone who is like very much into his own thing. It turned out that I had gone so far from the rest of the journalists and the rest of the people that... I find my myself alone. I'm already so... It seems like I'm very alone. I write to all these big publications and they don't know how to respond because my concerns are so different.
I don't want... I had this client in India. It's one of the biggest NGOs who want to do something for old people. I told them: You know what I think. How we can help them? How we can come up with new ideas and actually make a change? And I said: Let's not. "Matlab, bhikh nahi maagte hain, chalo seekh maagte hain." And for them it was so new. They are used to begging for "gaas, baas, kapas" we call back home in Nepal. Rather than asking for food, shelther, and I don't know what... why not ask for something that can empower them for their whole lives? That was my concern. That has been my concern. I don't want to give fishes to people. I want to help people to learn fishing. I want to help people to go out there and do the kind of stuff they are supposed to do, not just become machines or whatever I don't know.
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