The Kingdom of Nepal was declared a democratic republic in 2008. Officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, this landlocked country is bordered by India on the East, South, and West, and Tibet on the North. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres, the country boasts of a population of approximately 28,443,000 people – 82% residing in the rural areas and the remainder in the urban areas. Approximately 75% of the country is mountainous with the other 25% comprising some flat, rich plains for agriculture and some marshy areas due to the many rivers. The official language is Nepali while English is a strong second language.
The country’s media sector comprises state-run, privately owned, and community-based media.
Nepal is the first country to establish a still active community radio station within South Asia in 1997 – Radio Sagarmatha.
There are currently over 300 community radio stations active in the country. They operate mainly to protect local cultures from the dominant Nepali-language media that are biased against the marginalized groups, comprising Dalits, Madhesis, indigenous people, and Muslims, which make up approximately 75% of the population.
While there are other forms of community media in Nepal, there is not much information available in the public forum about them.