Nepal Monitor Monitor is a national online journal focused on media and public affairs. Founded in 1999 as newslookmag.com, Nepal's first online newsmagazine (See Internet Archive on Wayback Machine. And this, too. Also, for a detailed historical context, see this article), the site has evolved into a semi-scholarly journal.
The traditional definitions of “public affairs” typically constrict the phrase to the three branches of government—executive, legislative and judiciary. The NM focuses on the relationship between the governed and the government in a democratic society, with an emphasis on the fourth branch of government-- the press.
But it takes a more inclusive view; we cover any issues of significance to the public, whether they are governmental, community-related or entrepreneurial. The online journal is aimed at professionals (journalists and media entrepreneurs, academicians, development and cultural workers, lawyers, policymakers, administrators, etc)— people with expertise. It serves as a forum for the sharing of their expert views among themselves and among the wider public.
To some extent, the journal attempts to demystify “expert knowledge.” Articles avoid jargons, embrace an engaged, layperson’s language. It is part journalese and part academic writing.
The mantra at NM is "media for social change and social justice." All topics— primarily media, politics, culture, society, development, religion, human rights, environment, and more—are considered. [See Guidelines for Authors]
Articles are published on a rolling basis. The journal is published and edited by Dharma Adhikari. Co-editor is Chiranjibi Kafle. The core team of volunteers include Krishna Sharma (staff writer), Babu Ram Fyuba (research), Prabhat Kiran (research) and Chhabi Adhikari (IT).
For a complete listing of the core team of volunteers at Nepal Monitor, please click here.
A group of like-minded journalists conceived the publication in Kathmandu way back in 1995. Lacking financial resources, it could not be realized at that time. The World Wide Web helped revive the idea, and Dharma Adhikari launched the news site in 1999 as part of his project for an online journalism class at the Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia.
During those days, news websites on Nepal were next to nil. Shovelware was the norm. Captivated by the new technology, he began his online journey with the clanky HTML codes of the twentieth century. Online journalism was barely 4 years old at that time.
Adhikari juggled between this purely voluntary effort and his graduate studies at Missouri. Within a few years, the publication managed to evolve from an obscure site with an assortment of news links and facts, occasional contributions, and pre-blog era weblogs in the form of pithy comments to a nationally and internationally-known news aggregator— “an indispensable” site on Nepali affairs, “a storehouse of analyses and information,” as the Kathmandu-based Himal magazine put it. In fact, newslookmag introduced "link journalism" in Nepal long before the concept even was discovered. The royal regime’s clampdown on the press in 2005-2006 also helped to popularize Newslook, thanks, in particular, to King Gyanendra’s ban on this site in 2005. We were among the first sites that were banned.
Newslook was noted for its ability to quickly identify breaking news and expert views, spot new trends and, more importantly, to monitor Nepal and update the site every single day, and on many occasions, every single hour and minute. This currency and timeliness made us relevant and useful.
Today, online journalism has come of age; and there are now several Nepal-related news sites. Alongside, the need for analyzing, identifying and collecting current information cluttering the Internet has only increased. Nepal Monitor strives to fulfill that need.