Nepal: Independent media struggles to survive amid pandemic pressure

While independent media outlets flounder amid mass revenue losses due to the nationwide lockdown, the Nepalese government has turned its focus to boosting state-run media. Lekhanath Pandey reports from Kathmandu.

Dhruba Simkhada-52, was working as an opinion editor at Nepal’s best-selling newspaper, Kantipur, until April, when he was asked to take a month of unpaid leave.

He is one of the longest-serving opinion editors the paper has seen over its 27 years in circulation. On April 20 the publication told Simkhada and 40 other journalists to take the unpaid leave as the company was facing severe financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures.

More than two months have passed, and he is still waiting for the call to resume his work.

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