Can audience be a part of media accountability in Nepal? I think so. This role of audience is possible more in the digital than in the print world. Media accountability systems are the mechanisms to make journalists accountable to the public by pointing out mistakes and malpractices. According to Claude -Jean Bertrand, it covers various mechanisms such as code of ethics, letters to the editor, press councils, and media literacy programmes.
Healthy discussions So, the audience could definitely help in making media more accountable. However, we should not forget that anybody can write anything on social media. The discourse could also be uncivil, vulgar, and full of malice and hatred. The audience could also have healthy discussions by pointing lapses and requesting the media house to correct and be accountable. However, the key issue is: Do media organisations ever have eyes on these comments or are journalists interested in engaging with the genuine criticism of the audience?
(Maharjan is a senior researcher at an academic NGO Martin Chautari and writes on issues related to media and technology.)