Discourses in Nepali Newspaper Op-eds about Rescue, Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction in the post-Gorkha Earthquake
Since the immediate aftermath of 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, Nepali mass media including newspaper editorials and op-eds have extensively covered various aspects of the earthquakes such as impacts, rescue, relief, recovery and reconstruction. Op-eds, as argued, have the potential to shape public opinion (Porpora and Nikolaev, 2008), to trigger public debate on some agenda (Alexander, 2004, Sommer and Maycroft, 2008, Rosenfeld, 2000) and to persuade elites. Contrastingly, some also point to their ineffectiveness in terms of effecting any substantive change in policy and mindsets of elites due to their elite authorship and focus on complex policy topics (Ciofalo and Traveso, 1994; Zaller, 1992). This paper, by no means, intends to evaluate or examine any impacts or effects of the op-eds on changes in policies, attitudes and perceptions. Instead, this article, based on analysis of about a total of 85 op-ed articles published in the five major national daily newspapers of Nepal (Annapurna Post, Gorkhapatra, Kantipur, The Kathmandu Post, Naya Patrika and Nagarik), seeks to analyse the discourses related to relief, recovery and reconstruction in the post-2015 Gorkha Earthquake.