Kathmandu, April 1 : The Press Council Nepal (PCN) has sought explanation from 36 media outlets flouting the journalists code in course of reporting on the coronavirus pandemic-related incidents during the period from March 23 to 30. Stating complaints have been received that 17 web portals not registered as per the Online Media Operation Guidelines, 2073 BS, (First Amendment, 2074 BS) have been continuously disseminating content spreading rumours and the same has also been established through own monitoring, PCN said arrangements have been made so that only such web portals would not be allowed to publish and broadcast within Nepal. The Press Council has also refuted what it said false publicity that some online media have been closed and barred from operating within Nepal merely for publishing and disseminating news related to the coronavirus pandemic. In this connection, it cited Clause 3, Sub-clause (4) of the Guidelines which states that online media cannot be operated without registering. It also referred to the Clause 10 (A) and (B) of the same. Clause (A) states that content that is prohibited for publication and dissemination as stipulated in the Constitution of Nepal and the existing laws. Similarly, Clause (B) states contents contradicting the Journalists' Code of Conduct should not be published or broadcast. PCN also referred to Clause 18 of the Guidelines which states that the Council could write to the bodies concerned to make arrangements preventing the publication and dissemination of the materials that are published or broadcast against the Clause 10 within Nepal, and the body concerned should also make necessary arrangements barring the publication and broadcasting of such content within Nepal if the Council wrote to that effect. Similarly, the Journalists' Code of Conduct 2073 BS (First Amendment 2076), Clause 5(14) prohibits the journalists and media from publication or dissemination of content related to individual's health and public health including epidemics in an exaggerated way so as to cause agitation or despondency among the readers, listeners or the audience. PCN also clarified that no prohibition has been imposed in the publication and operation of the 2,179 online media that are registered in Nepal. It has been time and again calling on the media and journalists to remain conscious regarding abiding by the Code of Conduct and in case of online media that have not yet registered to do so.