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Blogging Cost This Nepali His Job
[Interview] Krishna Dhungana, former tabloid writer based in Kathmandu
Umesh Shrestha (salokya)     Email Article  Print Article 
Published 2007-07-27 21:19 (KST)   
This article was only lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>
Krishna Dhungana is a Nepali professional journalist and blogger. He writes a weekly blog for Nepal's popular site Mysansar.com and was associated with a daily tabloid called Naya Patrika until he was sacked for writing blogs.

Even though he started blogging just a month ago, it cost him a lot. He became the first person in Nepal to be fired because of blogging. This week, some Nepali blogs are abuzz about this incident.

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This interview was given on July 26 in Kathmandu.

Mr. Dhungana, can you tell the readers of Ohmynews about the incident?

I was associated with a tabloid, Naya Patrika, from its launching period in April this year. Tabloid is relatively new concept in Nepal and under leadership of London-returned editor Krishna Jwala Devkota, we, the young team rocked the news stand.

Well, I am a person who loves to experience different things. I was attracted by popularity of blogs. Writing and maintaining independent blog seems not possible for me and I offer popular blog Mysansar.com for weekly blogs. These blogs were the reason why I was fired from my job.

What did you blog that they decided to sack you?

Krishna Dhungana
©2007 Umesh
Yes, I heard news about bloggers being sacked in Western countries but I have never ever thought that I might be victim too. Unlike in the West, I did not blog about official secrets. I usually blog about lifestyle. My last blog titled "Constituent Assembly and White Wine" was about the teenage girl and their circle, ignorant about country's burning issue- the constituent assembly.

Still, they decided to fire me because they blamed me that I was focused in blog and not in writing news. My blogs were popular and my writing style, completely different from news writing style was also popular.

I heard from my colleague that my editor blamed "He was very good reporter when he joined here. Later, he focused on blog than news. So, these days, he is not been able to contribute front page articles."

That means you neglected your duty...

No way, I have already told you that I was not maintaing my independent blog. I was just writing weekly blog. And there were many byline news which proves that I was sincere to my job. Even after they fired me, they published a front page story written by me, but removing my byline.

And even if that was case, they should have been informed, discussed or warned about it and should have given time for me to justify.

How do you feel when you heard that you were fired on July 17?

Actually, I was not informed about the reason first. As I too was not satisfied with my job, I did not feel bad or sad. I was working there because of my colleagues. Later, when I heard about the reason, my heart told me, its ridiculous. How can they fire me just for writing blogs.

How does it feel to be first blogger in Nepal who was sacked because of blogging?

Blogging is relatively new term for most of the Nepalis. Blogging were emerged here only after King Gyanendra imposed tight censorship in traditional media in 2005.

In Nepal, if you do something new, you will automatically became Nepal's first. But this is an extra case. This is breach of freedom of expression. A reporter can express his feelings in his own way. The new trend observed worldwide on large corporations like IBM, CISCO and AT&T is that they widely promote employee's personal blog since it allows those corporations to read their minds, dissatisfactions and explore their potentiality.

What I never expect was that a London-returned editor failed to understand a reporter's freedom of expression.

You wrote your story in your latest blog post. How was the reaction and solidarity from other bloggers?

I think after reading my post, the editor and management may realize their mistake. I heard that the day I posted my blog on that matter, the paper's office was in sensation. Few of bloggers expressed solidarity and make post about the incident. Lots of people wrote comment in this issue. But an informal association of Nepalese blogger- Blogan is yet to say something about it

So, what is your future plan?

Being a professional journalist, I have to live with news, eat with news and sleep with news. My work will never apart from news. But I will continue to blog. My readers expresses sympathy and love towards me through their comment. I am very thankful to them.

©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Umesh Shrestha

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