Free media

On Sunday, March 22, Bhutan Times reported: The most direct evidence of our new democratic freedom this past year is the ease with which the kingdom’s young media professionals can now get hold of government leadership including, even, the Prime Minister himself. Good.

On Saturday, April 11, Kuensel reported: The prime minister said that the government respected the media. It had in no way hindered them. “The government lets media do what they’re supposed to be doing. People need to know the truth, both good and bad … We should be honest and we should reveal.” Very good.

On Wednesday, April 15, Kuensel reported: When discussions got heated up between MPs and coordinators, the DPT party told the press to leave the hall. Not good.


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  1. Anonymous says

    It is immensely important to have fair and non bias media who would inform the public correctly rather than being the government’s informant. Sad but true our media is not ethical and scared of the government. It becomes progressive only if the media plays its role with dignity and media is the only right key player to keep the govt on its toe. But the Bhutanese media have the biggest dissappointment.

    Why couldn’t the media object when they were shooed away by the DPT. They should have demanded their right to inform the public with right information. If they are worried about the budget and becoming bankrupt, whats the big deal, let it happen and the truth will unfold. If it happens I am sure the people and the breaucracy will have to intervene and do something. That will open the gate to a lot of truth.
    I believe we have a right to correct information and only media can do it. So our media will have to be supported.

  2. Anonymous says

    I’m curious as to what Dasho Kinley has to say to this.

  3. Gurung/Pawdel says

    Am surprised to go through the kuensel…. DPT: Get out all the media!!! I think both the govt. and media play their role in a different way… Govt says freedom is there for media… but the truth is govt objects and scrutunize every article and programs, on other hand media says they are free but the fact is that they always write good side of the story about the govt….

    i really dont understand the freedom of media and security of the media… if they live up to the code of conduct and ethics of the media…. there is always the govt to penalise… best example… BBS paying fine of Nu, 18000/-, BT and others also paid fines….. receiving warning letters from the higher authorities…. all sort.

    We should really think of that…

    Media act also should be reviewed and some where there should be some security and rights of the media….

    So all Bhutanese media…. all the best!

  4. Sir, it is a good topic we should really talk about.
    But for you, i would rather say that dont support the media organisations as you came through many stories against you and your party.
    The picture in which you were carrying the horse and going towards the hill top. The story with poetry language (Massive chick bone) and so on. i really dont understand what they wanted to say. You should take up these things to the higher authority. The case is simple. Personal discriminating an individual.

    You should go to them and take. After all you are also a Lyonpo(with folded orange scarf). If not they should do the same with other Lyonpos.. Ex. PM spoke with angled lips. Yeshi Zimba walked with walking stick and so on…

    Sir. dont support media to much and dont be so humble.

  5. I dont know what Dasho Kinley Dorji will do!!!!!!! Even BICMA cant fine the Govt. As Mr. Wangyel in BICMA is as you all know is ……… They cant do anything but support the govt saying that media should respect the decission and so on. they will give their own reasons and the loss is media and general public at large….

  6. Well Well….. I think this is heights. This is total dictatorship. Have we moved from a free monarchical regime to an authoritarian democratic system.
    We have seen the dictatorship features of the DPT many a times, now they are on the media also.

    Its a dooms day for media. So sad.

    Just another observation, the press conferences in Bhutan are also recorded and deffered, why not LIVE?? Is it another form of dictatorship.

  7. Lyonpo, as somebody mentioned you are too humble and I think this is not correct. You have to assert you prescence since you and Dasho Damchoe are the only hope for change. You got to start doing something and we public are behind you. You and Damchoe have a huge responsibilty of saving the Nation from tryanny and dictatorship. Save Bhutan and save the citizens. This can’t go on and on, there has to be an end somewhere or else we all live in fear. I am very scared of the situation. Atleast we have your blog to express our dissappointment and I hope our Kings do visit your site because this is the best forum where people do express freely what they think.

  8. Palden Drukpai Paw says

    Free media…. May be only the lips… The govt actually wanted to keep media under their power.

    Get up media and speak out aloud.

    BBS on the eve of 16 got wrong guest on their panel discussion on govt grant for the medical students in SA and other 2 countries.

    But Dawa you did well

    Hope to see Lyonpa Zanglay, Thakur and OL live on the screen soon. If not you can request PM and OL on the live.

    PM already said they can come and speak to media.

    So it is high time to come and speak why and how your govt managed to decide the matter.

    Dawa keep it up and go after PM and OL for this will be a best LIVE show.

    But let the telephone line be open to the public

  9. Bhutanese youth says

    With a few more of Dawa’s kind, Bhutanese media will have more life.
    Mr. Dorji Wangk is also doing good.
    Others aren’t bad either…but still media is not so active..they have more rights to make the govt more transparent.
    DPT,you too, Walk the talk!
    Go media..go

  10. “sad but true our media is not ethical and scared of the government”
    Well, i don’t beleive so. We are trying our best to give out fair and balanced stories out, if the people want to hear about shattering secrects of the governmnent, well, sorry, the only way to provide them is to invent them……they are either non existant or very very far from the media eye. We would be unethical if we report something incorrectly, fabricate information, deliberately distort news…….international media will give fine examples of what an unethical media can be like….and i beleive that we are not there yet. Also not ‘scared’ of the government. The fact that kuensel reported that the media was chased out is proof.
    lets say that the real hindrance to the media is not actually ‘freedom of expression’ as such, we report the truth as we know it and no one stops us. The real problem is access to information “because the spokesperson is on leave.” We cant report on what we dont know…and most of the time, even for issues that are not at all controversial, there aren’t people to answer.

  11. Anonymous says

    Yeah! di! it is true that media is not being responsible in its duty otherwise there is nothing to hide. You don’t ned to invent beither fabricate just say it right on the face. When it comes to the government nothing is exposed. You go and talk about feeling who has no powers to implicate you and the minute its got to do with power and the powerful you do back out. Then expose the appointment of the CEO of Bhutan post, go dive into the beninger story, go get the truth out of the medical grant, go talk about the many affairs the ruling govt has been into. Go talk about the powers that PM has over its MPs, go talk about how DPT won over PDP……. many and many more… just do it and then we will say wow! the change has come

  12. There isn’t yet freedom of press and expression in Bhutan! Anyone has doubt about it, including Di?

    If you call Brazilian football and Bhutanese football the same, then you can also say that we have freedom of press and expression as in a full-fledged democracy, say USA!

  13. yes…that was the exact thought that struck me when i read that piece of useless article (i am being very generous here).

    Why? Because, there are so many things wrong in it.

    It defied the very principle of transparency
    It is against the right to information
    Most importantly, media is treated like a pet, and in return all the media does is lower its tail, walk away and whine

    But most importantly, if that whole incident was 100 percent, the reporter covered 5 percent and complained that the 95% was missed because they were shooed away.

    Well, i don’t say the fault lies entirely with the reporters who were there. Perhaps, a systemic issue.

    But kindly be aware. We dont want to hear about a meeting being called, or a conference being started, or a house been constructed, or a black necked crane been killed. Everybody sees that, for god sake.

    Please give it a thought. I don’t say Nu. 8 or 10 is too much. Its noble on your part to justify. Who knows. Perhaps, your thought at this point could lead to a major and well deserved reform in the media industry.

    And Di, use of information and access to information boils down to the same thing and that is, it is the responsibility of the media. You cannot simply blame the agencies concerned (what business do they have anyway). There are always means and ways to make them want to cooperate with you. There are always incentives, perverse or otherwise.

    I think the challenge is for the media industry to clearly understand the scope of its responsibilities and the power it assumes. Once they feel strong enough, things will fall into places.

  14. Also media should look into how justified it was to “bail out the steel industry” whether it was necessary or not? Someone had brought out the issue in kuensel “no bail out please” read it and ponder on it. It made be ponder and I finally concluded with the connection between JYT and Damchoe Dem. JYT sure has a huge share in it.Media needn’t do anything just bring out the facts and who owns it and who are the sahre holder and how much percent of profit is hidden to aviod tax and obviously it is a fronting case.
    The other one is PNB and the facts…
    The other one is copper and fronting……. many mnay more….. media don’t just keep lying to yourself that you are doing a good job….
    You are not doing your job but just barking……. you desrve a bankruptcy by doing a good job.

  15. This is a serious issue, thats redicilious!!!…how can the media be chased…..

    Media should do something about this..where is the constitution which guarantees the freedom of press and media….

    And our journalist might have the moment they were chased…If i were there I would have throw my shoes on their faces..

  16. This is not the first time, our PM already gave warning to media people long time back as not to write anything bad about DPT indirectly in a meeting if I am not mistaken.

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