MediaVisit to Kantipur Publications

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We, the media students of Kathmandu University and Jade Hochschule visited the head office of Kantipur Publications on 8th February 2017; accompanied by our lecturers.

Kantipur Publications is located inside the ten-storied Central Business Park building in Thapathali, Kathmandu. The office was recently shifted here after the April 25th earthquake damaged the publication’s previous working space at Tinkune. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Manish Gautam – Post’s Crime, Health and Development reporter and sub-editor.

We met with Akhilesh Upadhyay, the editor-in-chief of The Kathmandu Post, who briefed us about the workplace, work force, process of news production and newspaper publication, daily operation module as well as his responsibilities with the Post. He had a light talk with the German students about the experiences, feelings and visits in Nepal while also querying about the media system and status quo of journalism in Germany.

In a conference room, Upadhyay reflected on his student days in New York University, USA and his first experience with journalism. We listened to his tell-tales with enthusiasm and attentiveness. He talked about the differences in journalism in Nepal and America. “I encourage the reporters and journalists under me to specialize in their reporting beat,” said Upadhyay.

The interesting thing about Kantipur Publications is that it is one of the few independent media houses in Nepal with their own archives. The Kathmandu Post has tie-ins and collaboration with various international media such as The Guardian, The New York Times, India Today, Dawn, Asian News Networks, etc. and syndicates for the international contents. According to Upadhyay, digitization of media contents is the need of the hour in journalism as people have less time to surf them in computers, and they prefer to read and view news on -the -go using smartphones. He stressed that apps has made the news and information contents fast, smooth and on-the-go.

He also claimed that advertisement in Nepali newspapers have gone through metamorphosis in the last few decade. Upadhyay further said, “Advertisement in newspapers have increased awareness, revenue, connectivity, Public Relations, goodwill and other relationships. The easy distribution of newspapers to the homogenized readers have been fruitful for the Kantipur Publications.”

Newspapers have become widespread and relatively popular compared to the last few decades due to the proliferation of advertisement, array of contentd , homogenized readers base and affordable newsprint. Newspapers like The Kathmandu Post have been able to achieve success in the market due to its efficient distribution mechanism and appeal to various readers and their interests. Furthermore, the independent editorial teams of Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post have resulted in the success as well as intra- organization competition for readership.

“Multi-media journalism have further expanded the horizon of media landscape and enhanced the scope of media and journalism”, asserts Upadhyay. He also claims that the newspaper readership is always fluctuating.

There was a question-answer session in between the discussion between Upadhyay and us. Answering to the query forwarded by one of us, he asserted that any media enthusiast with a zeal for journalism can intern as well as work with the publications. We felt that we made a right choice by joining media studies program. We were glad to know the first-hand experiences of success, failure and challenges faced by him. Mr. Upadhyay’s experience provided us insights into how Nepali journalists work hard and go through various stages to get right information. We were able to perceive the risk factors that might impede on the information collection and dissemination process of those journalists.

Upadhyay claimed that Kantipur Publications have been able to save its reputation and identity despite mushrooming of other media houses by focusing on quality journalism, uniqueness, accuracy, credibility, accountability, catering to different tastes and interests of the readers, diversifying its contents and maintain flexibility. Also, strong online presence and regularly updated contents have boosted the brand reputation of the Publications. He admitted that once in a while, every media makes certain flaws and the Publication is no exception to it.

After the talk, we were given brief tour of the office of the Kantipur daily and were given explanation about how it works in Kantipur. We listened to the words spoken by veterans of newspaper journalism in Nepal’s largest selling Neapli daily, attentively. We were glad to know how Nepali newspapers like Kantipur function and major roles played by the media. We really felt how media serves the role of gatekeeper, voice of the voiceless and bridge connecting government and the people.

After wrapping up our visit of Kantipur Publications, we  departed towards Nepal Television (NTV) office, Singha Durbar.

Prabin Dhungel

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