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Status of accountability in online news media: A case of Nepal

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Media accountability on digital platforms : A case study of Nepal.

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Status of accountability in online news media: A case of Nepal

  1. 1. Dissertation Defence Bhanu Acharya, 6761131 University of Ottawa
  2. 2.  The birth of Internet & the growth of online media have attracted the attention of scholars worldwide;  Scholars argue that media can be more accountable to the public stakeholders in digital platforms due to interactivity, transparency, global accessibility, immediacy features;  Most of the research studies were based on developed countries in North America and Europe;  What about the developing countries? Do the same findings apply to the developing country context where digital divide is significantly higher?  AIM OF THIS STUDY: To make a reasonable contribution to scholarly inquiry on online media accountability in Nepal
  3. 3.  What is the state of online journalism in Nepal with regard to accountability? ◦ What are the key challenges for ensuring accountability in journalism created using digital platforms? ◦ What role do audiences play in ensuring online news media accountability?
  4. 4. Media accountability frame SOURCE: Krogh, 2012, p. 21
  5. 5. • Qualitative – Case study research method (Yin, 2009) • Data sources: – Semi-structured interviews (10 online journalists) – Document review (25 news stories published in five most viewed news portals in Nepal) – Archival records (5 news stories placed in online archives, one each from the selected news portals) • Data analysis: Conventional content analysis method (open coding, axial coding & selective coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990; Yin, 2009))
  6. 6. • There is a wide gap between media accountability standards and the practical application of media accountability tools in Nepal; • Media institutions are more loyal/accountable to financial stakeholders (advertisers and sponsors) than the general public; • Small scale investment and limited market support have created tension surrounding the sustainability of online media; • Audiences should perform a proactive role, which is possible through the reduction of the digital divide and an increase in media literacy programs; • Traditional media monitoring bodies such as press councils are still relevant in Nepal to ensure media accountability.
  7. 7.  Professional challenges of online news media are similar in Nepal as in developed countries;  Several basic requirements are necessary in Nepal to strengthen media accountability;  Online media and journalists are found more loyal to market (& political) stakeholders than to the public;  A slight modification to the media accountability framework is necessary;
  8. 8. • There exists a wide gap between accountability standards and practical applications in online media in Nepal; • Adequate infra-structure, qualified human resources, effective monitoring mechanisms, and ethical practices are required to make Nepali online media accountable; • Increased interactivity, or participation of audience can overcome accountability challenges of online media with regard to public and professional stakeholders.

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