Special note from the publisherWe have decided to suspend publication and distribution of The Kathmandu Post, Kantipur, Nepal, Nari and Saptahik for a few days, beginning Saturday.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, and it has made its way to Nepal. Though the virus has not spread in Nepal on as large a scale as it has in other countries, we are well aware that it could quickly turn into a large crisis. In light of the current situation, Kantipur Media Group, which has always been at the forefront of journalism for the people, has taken some crucial decisions that we would like to share with our readers.
First, the wellbeing of our readers, fellow workers and the general public is our prime concern. Kantipur Media Group has always placed its responsibility towards the people, society and the country at the heart of its activities. Even in today’s unusual situation, our correspondents and photojournalists are out in the field, ensuring that we keep our readers informed while our staff at the printing press have been working gruelling night shifts to make sure papers are printed. Our staff along the distribution chain and our dealers are, as always, delivering the news to our readers’ doorsteps.
Although we would like our papers to be delivered to you in the early hours of the morning, we realise that we cannot compromise on the safety and security of our staff. To protect them from possible infections, we arranged for masks, gloves and sanitisers, along with other protective measures. But despite that, we cannot ignore the possibility that they might get infected while they are out in the field. The safety of our staff is our first responsibility.
Second, all these measures are being taken to ensure that we abide by our duty to keep the readers informed with accurate news and information. But many of our readers and well-wishers have drawn our attention to the possible spread of the virus through the newspaper. So far, we have not found any evidence that the coronavirus spread through newspapers, but we are not in a position to assert that there is no such risk. Our primary concern is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our readers.
Third, the government has enforced a nationwide lockdown, restricting people’s movement. Members of the public have extended their support, and it has also become our responsibility to contribute to a measure enacted to prevent the spread of a disease. We are thus in a difficult situation. While we have the responsibility to keep the general public informed by ensuring that they get newspapers delivered to their homes, it’s also our duty to support initiatives aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.
Taking the government’s announcement, our staff’s wellbeing and the general public’s concerns into consideration, we have arrived at a harsh but necessary conclusion.
We have decided to suspend publication and distribution of The Kathmandu Post, Kantipur, Nepal, Nari and Saptahik for a few days, beginning Saturday. We will follow the unfolding circumstances on a daily basis and whenever the situation eases, our publications will reach your doorsteps and the nearest newstands. Our regular subscribers will have their subscription period extended accordingly.
Our readers are all well aware of the fact that we have never stepped back in the past, no matter how difficult the situation. Journalism is not a profession to shirk responsibility during trying times. In the past, we have always practised dynamic and meaningful journalism—be it during the times of civil war or when the king assumed absolute power. Kantipur Media Group has always stood against all kinds of oppression and obstacles. We never hesitated to break curfew or prohibitory orders to make sure that our papers reached the hands of our readers. And in this regard, our readers have always been our source of inspiration.
But today’s pandemic is of such a nature that it demands physical distance—even between the hands. The more ‘physical distancing’ there is, the lower the chance of mass infection. Today, we have been compelled to maintain a temporary distance between our newspapers and our readers.
As far as our responsibility of doing journalism is concerned, we remain committed. Our print editions might be temporarily suspended, but we have powerful digital tools with us. We will continue to disseminate the news, views, information, analysis, interviews, photos and videos through kathmandupost.com and ekantipur.com. The two other arms of Kantipur Media Group—Kantipur TV and Kantipur FM—will continue to be at your service.
Ties between Kantipur Media Group and our readers are very strong and they cannot be broken by the sudden surge of a certain virus. We extend our apologies for the inconvenience caused to you due to this decision we have been forced to take. The present crisis can be averted and defeated only by staying home and maintaining physical distance with individuals and objects. We hope all our readers will play their part in helping overcome this global crisis.
Chairman and Managing Director
Kantipur Media Group