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FM radios in Nepal are not mainstreaming environmental communication
FM radio plays a crucial role in disseminating information and educating people about environmental issues. In Nepal, it is the primary source of information especially for 80% of people. However, environmental programs are incorporated only in 57% of the radio stations and such programs are among the least popular ones, according to an article published in the Heliyon, a journal published by CellPress.
The study is first of its kind to provide the nation-wide assessment of coverage of environmental issues in radio stations, including challenges while running environmental programs. The paper titled “The coverage of environmental issues in FM radios in Nepal: the current status and challenges”, is led KIAS Senior Scientist, Dr. Prakash K. Paudel. Other members of research team include Mr. Rabin Bastola, Department of Environmental Science, Amrit Campus, Tribhuvan University and Mr. P. T. Lopchan, Sampanna Sanchar Pvt. Ltd., Kathmandu, Nepal.
The survey revealed that the environmental programs were mostly self-financed and face financial uncertainty. Limited funding, lack of advertisements, and environmental experts and radio journalists were the major challenges faced by the radio stations.
Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences organized a webinar on July 28, 2020 in collaboration with Society for Conservation Biology Nepal to share research findings among media persons and researchers. Nepal Research and Education Network (NREN) provided technical support. Dr. Prakash K. Paudel, provided key highlights of research findings.
“Governance system of community radio stations should be improved in order to improve transparency and accountability. Radios should link environmental issues with people’s livelihoods and nature to bring positive impacts”, said Mr. Nimesh Regmi, General Secretary, Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ).
Mr. Yadav Ghimire, Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Nepal, said: “Capacity building initiatives should provide journalists an opportunity to mingle with nature and natural systems”.
Given poor public reception and high rate of termination of environmental programs, the researchers recommend the Government of Nepal to formulate a media engagement strategy to strengthen environmental communication. The strategy should be pivotal in bringing public awareness, training journalists, providing funds, and connecting with scientists and experts.
Please click here to download press-release published by Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences (KIAS).
Paudel, P. K., Bastola, R., & Lopchan, P. T. (2020). The coverage of environmental issues in FM radios in Nepal: the current status and challenges. Heliyon, 6(7), e04354.