Centenarian Newspaper in Nepal

One of the centenarian newspapers of South Asia, Gorkhapatra, the first Nepali newspaper, was published in 1901 with Naradev Pande as its first editor. It was a weekly paper printed at Pashupat Press. It was a milestone in the history of journalism and mass communication in Nepal. In 1944, it began to publish twice a week and thrice in 1946. It was only after 1960 that it became a daily paper.

Certain rules (Sanad) guided the content of the paper. The final editor was Lieutenant Colonel Dilli Shamsher Thapa Chhetri and only after his permission, the paper was sent for printing. Although the editorial had been published since the first issue, Rana rulers did not permit to publish the name of the editor until 1934.

Human resources were used from the government and it had to be weekly and 1000 copies had to be published in the beginning. Its annual budget was Rs 3904 and the cost for annual subscription was Rs 3. It was also circulated through India and two copies were free- one for Prime Minister’s Office and another for the British Embassy.

Its first issue was of 8 pages that consisted of poetry about the importance of newspapers. The editorial was known as “Editor ko Rae” and the first editorial was “Information is Knowledge”. 200 copies were printed at the first time. After Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Shah lost his job, the editorial was stopped and also the paper was stopped and reopened many times. However, in such cases, only two copies were published, one for British Embassy and another for French Embassy.

The news sources that the Centenarian newspaper used were government information and publication, post office, and people’s information. The first interview in Nepalese journalism was done by Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Singh who interviewed George V. In 1927, first photo was published which started photo journalism in Nepal.

The Centenarian Gorkhapatra represents the history of the 20th century. It laid the foundation for the newspaper journalism working as a bridge between the state and the people in Nepal. It was the medium for development of the language and literature and source of information for foreigners. Being one of the Centenarian newspapers, it is a major landmark in the South Asian journalism scenario.