Reporting from the ‘Inner Circle’: Afno Manche and Commitment to Community in Post-earthquake Nepal
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Nepal has a collectivist culture, founded on the ‘afno manche’ family system, where the needs of the family and kinships take priority over external obligations. The devastating April 2015 earthquake of 7.8 magnitude threw this into sharp relief, affecting 31 of Nepal’s 75 districts; it killed 8794 people and injured 22,300. This chapter explores the experiences of Nepali journalists as members—in a personal and professional capacity—of disaster-affected communities. It draws on in-depth interviews with journalists and editors based in the city areas of Kathmandu and Patan, as well as regions worst affected by the earthquake: Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, and Gorkha. The chapter explores the tension between journalists’ professional identity and their emotive response to experiencing the disaster first-hand, as victims and survivors. Respondents revealed tensions between traumatic experience of themselves and their family and their perceived professional duty to report.
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