Troubled Times

Weak week

Weak week

On 30th April 2006, Volume I, Issue 1 of the Bhutan Times hit the newsstands. If you have that first issue, treasure it. Bhutan Times was, at that time, only the second newspaper in our country. It was started by Tenzin Rigden and Tashi P. Wangdi as Bhutan’s first privately owned newspaper. So that first issue will always represent the emergence of a vibrant private media in our country.

Yesterday, journalists at the Bhutan Times resigned en masse protesting editorial interference by management. The collective resignation should seriously affect the newspaper’s credibility. And, its ability to publish its next issue, due this Sunday.  Except that other journalists – yes, fellow journalists – have decided to rescue the newspaper. Apparently, Tashi P. Wangdi , who co-founded Bhutan Times, and his team at K4 Media have agreed to produce editorial content for the newspaper.

Volume III, Issue 50 of the Bhutan Times could hit the newsstands on 25 October 2009. If it does, treasure it. That issue could mean that private media is much more vibrant than we realize. And that fact is worth celebrating, regardless of who is right – journalists or management.


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  1. It was an immoral and a cowardly thing to do. I don’t buy that argument that they resigned on the grounds of interference from the management. Editors and reports don’t resign on grounds of interference – they adamantly hold their ground and fight for their rights! It is cheap and unethical for them to try and hold the management to ransom this way. I am glad that the management has accepted their resignation – their true nature would have surfaced sooner or later.

    Bhutan Times is a company where they work, where they hone their professional skills and where they earn a reasonable living doing what they love doing best. It is treason to kick the company in the belly this way. I feel disgusted thinking about this.

    I am glad to hear that the K4 Media is coming to BT’s rescue. That is great! Although I am still smarting at that scarecrow of a man called Jurme Chowing for that uncalled for provocation at me sometime back, he may yet earn my respect for acts such as this.

    I hope to be able to read the BT issue on this coming Sunday morning.

  2. In 2002,when the Department of Employment took up the drafting of the labor laws one the the clauses mentioned creation of assocaition in the private sectors for employees. it was not permitted because, the meployers were against it, since they believed that it would create more problems.

    The idea of the association was proposed not as a gateway to create problems between the manamgement and its employees but as an alternative dispute resolution.
    I agree that the employees should respect the management. But i also agree that the employees should have the rights to choose to do thier work in the best manner they feel suited or otherwise…. resign, even collectively.

    I think it is a lesson for those of other managments who don’t allow enough rights to thier employees in terms of freedom or treat thier employees fairly in the firm. People are aware now of thier rights and O am glad it started with the paper company…
    They might be recued once but if i were the management i would prefer a permanent solution.

  3. Let me start off with the fact that the quality of writings in the BT paper has been above average. They have, indeed, kept us entertained and informed. I don’t know much about the quality of journalism or the ethical code maintained-i leave that for the regulators to figure out. But most certainly they were given a thumbs up, otherwise they wouldn’t continue to be in business in the first place.

    Now, should the management assume the role of regulators? or second level regulators?

    I admire the caliber, enthusiasm and the gentlemanly manner in which the new CEO treated the issue. But much questions remain. Does pleasing our Ministries constitute good journalism or good business? Should they aim for good journalism or good business? How does a media organisation manage the sensitive tradeoff between credibility and in being good eyes of the powerful? Or, is it not a trade-off at all?

    But, interestingly, i am happy all these are happening. Many more will follow as the experimentation, success, failure, re-organisation, reinvestments, etc.. Sir Charles Darwin would smile at another extension of his evolutionary theory.

    I see these as a maturing of our media industry. Let us wish them luck, all of them.

  4. Tashi P – I am a fan of yours already for coming forward and rescuing BT when it is in such dire needs. No matter what you do and where you are headed with your own works – you are to be commended for this benevolent act. Good work.

    I ahve been following the BT story in teh papers and also listening to off news side stories of this Tamasha. I commend the new CEO for bravely vouching to revamp the BT company no matter what has gone wrong in BT. Kudo’s to you to who ever you are. On the other hand – I am shamed that the BT editorial and reporters ganged against the company in such a sort period when they realized that the company is in shambles. It cowardly and absolutely not right & ethical for them to quit in this manner. I don’t believe it is because of managerial interference as the new CEO just took over.

    Lyonpo la – thanks for letting us know that the Tashi P and likes have ventured forth to save the paper this Sunday. Hail BT – it should survive for the interest of the media, for the interest of the share holders and largely for the interest of the nation. Good luck.

  5. bought the issue… despite the 12 people leaving, i would say it was one of the best issues…. it was one quality paper. Great job! I hope BT grows stronger despite all its trouble for now. My good wishes to the remaining BT team.

  6. Lyonpola,
    Kindly delate my earlier comment on resigned BT staffs. I think it’s not fair on my part to be judgemental without first knowing the true story behind what prompted them to resign. No matter what maybe the cause but I still don’t support the en masse resignation, but still that does not give me the right to be harsh on them. Thank you la, I feel so much batter now:))

    • ST: Your earlier comment didn’t need to be deleted, simply because you have admitted that you did not know the true story and that, as such, it wouldn’t be fair to be judgmental. Still, since you specifically asked, I’ve deleted the comment. TT

  7. What ever may be the truth behind, the mass resignation at this point of time is not correct.
    When some one is in trouble, we should come forward to help them but not to run away. This is morally not right. What do others say?

  8. There is a saying, When the sheep is about to sink the rats will try to run away first.
    So are the BT staff who resigned at a time.
    Just my thoughts.

  9. Chokyi Nima says

    Dear sangwang, i never knew that sheep could swim too.. ha ha typo mistake m sure

  10. Chokyi Nima says

    on the serious note, dont you think we are bent-over-backwards in this women right thing.
    man have always done the labour which required brute strength like: ploughing, using the axe, carrying the load etc and women did cooking,washing, weeding etc .

    today when we say cooking is women’s job they cry foul but then they expect their menfolk to get the gas cylinder refilled, ” because it is man’s job.” Ha ha

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