The situation of the media in Nepal "worsened" during the recent month-long agitation in east and mid-east regions of Terai districts with journalists facing "undue pressure" to make "extensive and biased coverage of the events", a journalist group has claimed.
"Nineteen media persons were attacked, 23 received serious threats and harassment and 19 journalists were displaced during the month long violent agitation launched by the Madhesi groups for their greater representation," a report by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) said.
During the period, five media houses and FNJ offices were attacked, 53 publications were closed and 12 press vehicles were vandalised by the protestors, it said.
Two media monitoring team visited the violence-hit Terai districts including Saptari, Sunsari, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Morang and Nawalparasi to assess the situation.
Condemning the attacks on journalists, the media body has urged the government to guarantee security for mediapersons and to probe into the attacks, violence and displacement.
"Stern action must be taken against the guilty," the FNJ said adding that the local administration failed to provide security to journalists and security persons were also found abusing and manhandling reporters.
The threat, pressure and attacks were not against any particular individual but the media as a whole, it said.