Watching BBS

Consider this: The BBS has already televised the prime minister’s speech during the National Day celebrations in Pema Gatshel on four different days – 23rd December, 25th December, 28th December and 31st December.

Now consider this: The BBS has televised His Majesty the King’s address to the nation during the National Day celebrations in Thimphu only on one day – 17th December.


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  1. That’s because PM commanded them.
    Reap what we sow

  2. ironic indeed!!! Is BBS already being used as a scapegoat??? Or is the BBS MD and Board Pro DPT??? I believe Dasho Tashi Phuntsho, is Chairman of the BBS Board and where is he? ..with the PM in the Cabinet Secretariat!!! In both the cases, its not a healthy trend.

  3. If BBS does not air PM’s speech several times, then how will the people of PG know that he is still with the people since he cannot afford to go to his constituency. Same goes with other thuemis (MPs) too.

  4. lol.Talk about free media.What is happening. One day JYT’S birthday might be a national holiday.

  5. Oppose thou must, but not for opposition’s sake.

    Someday our MPs are going to say the PM ought not to appear on TV at all. How must then the government work with people, if the head of the govt. is accused of talking to people about important policy matters? And, for those quibbling about free media – what have you got about free media? If the BBS is televising PM’s message twice or thrice lest PEOPLE should miss the important message from the King and the govt. how is our media ever going to be responsible and duty-bound? It is responsible media, not just free media that’s important today. Wonder how many of us construe “free press/media.
    I think BBS did pretty laudable job.

  6. bhutanese observer says

    nice observation la!!!
    to other make it appear that this Blog is read by only PDP supporters or OL supporters.give fair judgments man. instead of saying DPT this and DPT that
    best answer we will get is from the BBS alone
    im a DPT supporter but i enjoy what Opposition Leader writes in his blog.and i don’t make judgements of his comments or subject of his comments

  7. BTW do u have any grudge on PM? Highly possible! Its not because of this that I am saying, but have heard a lot of fishy things happening between you two. We feel like you both are indispensable position holders for the success of Democracy, and should help each other. However, sadly, you guys seem to have reached the stage of rubbing elbows!
    Good luck.

  8. I agree with the other commentators as well but I already fear that there will be no room for a third party or even a second party for the 2013 elections and given the political mileage he (PM) gains from all the media coverage (the same speech for four times)..the chance of having another party is further dwindling… We can already see the ill effects of the ruling majority and I for one definitely cannot stand this in the coming elections as well…

  9. BBS is afraid coz their budget and salaries should come from DPT govt. so it is….

  10. Pema Choden says

    I am obliged to reply to the Honourable Opposition Leader’s blog “Watching BBS” of 5 January 2009, as it contains information that is neither complete nor accurate and that could be seen as downright misleading.

    As the entire nation knows, BBS broadcast live on television and radio the historic Centenary National Day celebration in Thimphu. The same evening, after the 6pm, 7pm and 8pm news on television, we broadcast the entirety of His Majesty the King’s Address to the Nation. The 7 pm and 8pm slots are considered the prime time on BBS TV. The following day, BBS re-broadcast the full-day coverage of the National Day celebration in Thimphu.

    As the Honourable Opposition Leader pointed out, BBS broadcast the Honourable Prime Minister’s speech during the National Day celebration in Pema Gatshel, for the first time on 23rd December. This was carried after the 7pm news, almost a week after the event. The same speech was re-broadcast on 25th December after the 9 pm news. The subsequent days that the Honourable Opposition Leader has mentioned in his blog i.e. 28th and 31st December, BBS broadcast a programme on the National Day celebration in Pema Gatshel, after the 6pm and 9 pm news respectively.

    With the establishment of parliamentary democracy in the country, BBS has strived to the best of its abilities to fulfill its mandate as a public service broadcaster, serving the public interest of the Bhutanese people. In doing so, it has always strived to maintain its integrity, impartiality and independence, and to resist undue influence from any vested interests. It has strived, and will continue to strive, to earn the trust and respect of the Bhutanese public. In this endeavour, BBS requires the support of the Bhutanese public. It also requires the non-partisan support of parliament.

    I believe the Honourable Opposition Leader is fully aware of all the above facts.

    Pema Choden
    Managing Director
    Bhutan Broadcasting Service

  11. Bravo Pema Choden.

    Now going by what Aum PC has said is the OL a careless man or is he a liar?

    Any votes?

  12. Pema Choden’s response does not answer any concerns about BBS’ objectivity and professionalism. Rather, she still confirms that HM’s speech was aired only one day (and then the re-broadcast the next day) and PM’s speech and functions several days.

    The media has a strong role to play as a voice for non-partisan civil society. But they can also be very much swayed by the influence of the ruling party, or the voice of the opposition. And it is especially bad when executives managing the media are partisan. This is the problem in a small society as ours.

    And BBS is still content covering dances and functions, inauguration of bridges and opening ceremonies, but shy away from investigative journalism delving into real issues affecting our society.

    Yes, indeed they have come a long way. But with all the support from the government and no competition whatsoever, they could either be complacent or strive to be the best. I hope it is the latter.

  13. Salamani,
    Your views and inference are so immature. I bet you even look like a fetus. It is very clear from Pema Choden’s post that HM’s speech was covered FIVE times (LIVE, after the 6pm, 7pm and 8pm news, re-broadcast of LIVE the next day). On the other hand, BBS broadcast PM’s speech FOUR times. Even among those four, TWO of them are not focused on PM’S speech. It is rather a programme on National Day celebration of Pema Gatshel. It’s not only Pema Gatshel’s celebration that BBS has broadcasted; they did broadcast the celebration of other dzongkhags too.
    This post by the Opposition Leader is the most immature, unanalyzed and biased post. I think it doesn’t take a genius to determine that BBS did not broadcast his speech (if he delivered one). Please move your head a little further from petty party politics. I am surprised that those uncritical supporters of yours are cheering. It’s a pity guys!

  14. The Last Anonymous,

    First off, I don’t want to argue on someone else’s blog. Secondly, you should discern the difference between “days” and “several times in ONE day.” If you read my post correctly you’ll see what I mean.

    Anyway, the point is our media has a sacred role of presenting objective view and should therefore be a true voice for civil society, you included!

  15. This is to Aum Pema Choden (consider not as an attack but as a suggestion) if, BBS could be more straight and neutral while reporting certain events like for example our PM’s outbrust towards the media when asked about DG of DOR. The least BBS could have done was ask for a comment from the PM for his arrogance and do a investigative story about the myth sorrounding the appointment of the DG of DOR. Its sad to note that almost every media in Bhutan are still very much controlled in a sense that most of the critical and sensitive materials are ignored or sensored.
    One more thing, it wouldn’t seem more like a joke if the BBS (dzongkha) could atleast type in the correct spellings.

  16. Pema, your views and counter comment is really disheartening. i don’t know how you can compare the sacrosant leader with that of someone who is miselected by misinformed public. omy you should atleast see where the sun rises from and in which direction it sets… ooops, i am really sad to see that you are steering such a media to its doom.

  17. Salamani,

    you talk like “aired” and “re-broadcast” are 2 different things! what’s the difference may I ask? we’re counting the number of times the two events were televised.

    looks like you don’t know what prime time means either.

  18. Anonymous again,

    I don’t know about you, but for me BBS aired today evening and then re-broadcast the next morning is BUT one program since the news and everything is the same – this does not count as being aired again separately. Anyway, stop nit-picking and bickering about this – apparently it is going nowhere!

    We could use less of this typical beating around the bush culture. Just cut to the case. Get to the point.

    Having said this wouldn’t you agree that media is supposed to be a non-partisan voice for civil society???? Just give it to us as it is, don’t side with this or that special interest group.

    I rest my case, last anonymous. I refuse to be dragged further on this. Let’s move on to a recent thread.

  19. I have noticed too. What is happening ! There has not been much cover on ruling party ever since it began its office. BBS we are not idiots ….we can see it! We need another media house which allows better debate and question…not unlike Dawa coming up with less important issues….there are many topics on which we can talk and listen to people inquiries …debate session be bit longer…and we need more questions…Entire silly debate finishes with 2 or three questions…

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