As the drama was unfolding in Kathmandu on May 29th, the Twitterverse was busy. Will the constituent assembly’s term be extended or is the country headed towards a constitutional accident and perhaps a military rule or the monarchy’s return? these questions troubled many and they were glued to their local TV and radio sets.
For Nepali diaspora population, the internet was the only source of information. Mainstream media sites, Facebook, Twitter, live stream from local television and radio networks-the interested ones were plugged in, following the development.
But the mainstream Nepali media completely missed this opportunity to explore emerging avenues of communication and viewer engagement.At Twitter, bloggers and some journalists in personal capacity were Tweeting about the new developments but where were the newspapers and television networks?
When tornado struck Joplin, Missouri; a New York Times journalist tweeted his experience and later said that his tweets were perhaps better in engaging and informing the readers than the usual newspaper post on it.
Nepali diaspora is growing, they present a viable market and revenue source for Nepali media.Browsing through advertising at Kantipur or Republica’s website, it is clear that they are trying to appeal to the non-resident audience.So why were they so reluctant to spend few hours to make sure that this important group of audience is updated?
While the majority may not be avid Twitter followers, they are certainly internet savvy and use it to stay connected to the developments back home. Media organizations were absent on Twitter, at least they could have updated their webpages more often or live blogged the event. That didn’t happen either.
The Nepali media does not know where the world of journalism and communication is heading or it does not care. They are far ahead in extracting financial value out of their diaspora and online audience, than in giving them true value.