Despite the increase in threats, many publications continue to report on the current volatile politics. For Nepali journalists, said Adhikari, defying censors of any kind is a proud tradition. “The media is largely credited for supporting the pro-democracy movement of April 2006 that ended the king’s autocratic rule and ended the civil war,” he said. “Nepalese have become more vocal about the issues that affect their lives and assertive about media’s power.”
But the political instability that makes Nepali journalism so vital to its audiences also undercuts private media outlets in other ways.
“It is a vicious cycle,” said Dixit. “Media can only be truly independent if it is financially viable. To be financially viable there have to be ads, for ads there has to be at least eight percent economic growth. For economic growth, you need investment. Which needs political stability.”
Update, 3/6: The third paragraph of this story has been revised. In its original form, it did not note the initial proliferation of media in Nepal that followed the pro-democracy movement in 1990.
For a slideshow that explores how photojournalism supported efforts to shift the political dialogue toward peace in Nepal, click here.