The modern history of mass communication in Nepal starts after binging a printing press in 1851A.D(1908 B.S) from Britain by Janga Bahabur Rana which was known as Giddhe Chhapakhana. After the arrival of press the era of print media started. It was the first press machine entered in Nepal. After some years another press was established which was called “Manoranjana Press”. In thee years Nepali first Muluki Ain was published from this press. It took three years to print 1038 pages book of Muluki Ain.
The first magazine in Nepali language was “Gorkha Bharat Jivan” published from Benaras, India. In 1898 A.D Sudhasagar was the first Press Publication from Nepal which was 2nd magazine in Nepali language. Sudhasagar was the only paper published in Nepal Before Gorkhapatra. But there were numbers of magazines and newspapers in Nepali language published from India. We can study the historical development of mass media in Nepal by dividing it in some time intervals. The widely used division is as follows:
The Rana would not permit people to publish any newspapers. It became possible to publish newspaper because of Dev Sumsher’s liberal policy. After 2 years and 10 months of Sudhasagar publication Gorkhapatra came into light i.e in 1901. It was the first newspaper second press publication in Nepal and press publication in Nepali language . In 2000 B.S Gorkhapatra became twice a week. In 2003 B.S Gorkhapatra became thrice a week. Rana didn’t permit to publish the name of the editor of Gorkhapatra till 1934 A.D.
Another literary magazine Sharada, was published in 1934 A.D. Telephone service in Nepal was started in 1913 A.D. After producing 500 kilo watt electricity in 1911 A.D Nepal entered to the era of electric press.
In the year 1951A.D, Nepal entered to democratic multiparty system and a new era of Nepali journalism emerged. Within 24 hours of the announcement of the democracy, “Awaj” the first daily newspaper of Nepal published in 2007 Falgun 8th from Kathmandu. Awaj survived only for 2 years. In 2011 Bhadra 24th Samaj Daily, the second daily newspaper published from Kathmandu. Journalism in different languages English, Hindi, Newari, Maithili, etc appeared.
The fomal establishment of Radio broadcasting was done after the establishment of democracy i.e 20th Chaitra 2007 B.S. There were two private news agencies Nepal Sambad Samitee and Sagarmatha Sambad Samitee which was merged into one government news agency Rastriya Samachar Samitee in 2018 Falgun 7.
King Mahendra overthrew the elected government headed by B.P Koirala
and established Panchayat system. It was autocratic, anything promoting multiparty system especially the Nepali Congress was strictly prohibited.
Journalists had faced a number of problems, number of them were kidnapped, threatened and even shot dead. Thus it is known as dark period. Panchayat period can be defined as “era of struggle”
However there were remarkable infrastructure development. Gorkhapatra was made daily. They also published Rising Nepal, Madhuparba.
Beginning of film was done during Panchayat. A documentary of 42nd birthday of King Mahendra was first film made from Nepal. First featured film – Aama,1965 A.D(2022 B.S). The first film in Nepali language made from India in 1950 was Satya Harishchandra.
Radio Nepal got true shape of national broadcasting service during Panchayat. Film corporation was established. Advertising agencies also grew.
Thus Panchayat can be defined as “era of struggle for press freedom and infrastructure development in Nepalese media.”
1990 to onwards
After the restoration of democracy constitution of the kingdom of Nepal 2047 guaranteed Press freedom. Favourable environment for professional journalism appeared, huge investments were started from private sector. Kantipur publication was established with more than Rs 30 million (3 crore).It published Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post in 2049 Falgun 7th which were the first broadsheet national dailies from private sector. New wave of F.M broadcasting from non-government and private sector is started. Some private channels are Channel Nepal, Image Metro,Kantipur Television etc. In 2061 Bhadra Kantipur, Channel Nepal and Space Time were vandalized by unknown groups of people, which can be taken as black day in Nepalese media.