Bhutan’s sixth newspaper launched

21 Dec The former editor and six reporters of ‘Bhutan Times’ have brought out a newspaper with the name ‘The Journalist’, the sixth paper to appear in the media market of the nation.

The launch issue of the paper has come up with its 24-page writeups in differents genres as investigative reports, political discussions, business news and the like with a lead story on corruption. The weekly paper, as its editor Gpilal Acharya has said, will be published every Sunday and the monetary value for the paper is Nu. 10 per copy. Dzongkha edition occupies four-page space in The Journalist.

A page  of 'The Journalist' showing the lead story
A page of ‘The Journalist’ showing the lead story

“The paper will be a modest operation and investors would not be approached.” Said its editor adding, “We want a compact newsroom with motivated journalists, but we’re seeking help from organisations for interest-free loans.”
As per their claim, these reporters had published the first issue of ‘The Journalist’ in acute financial difficulty to the extent that they even borrowed laptops, other computers and cameras to have the work accomplished.Sonam Gyeltshen, who is the head of the Bhutan Media Services (BMS), made innitial investment as a marketing manager for The newspaper but its editor, Mr Acharya, is of the opinion that they will pay him back for the investment he has made and for the office space he has provided so that the seven journalists will be the sole owners of the paper. “This will help us function independently and practise our profession more responsibly.” Acharya opined. He has assured that a standard of quaity stories will be set for the accomodating readership in the country.

Since 2006, Bhutanese has seen a significant change in the way ‘the press’ has been operated in Bhutan. Before this there was time when the only state-remote-controlled Kuensel existed in the name of newspaper with its pro-monarchy elements. Now there are six newspapers-two dailies and four weeklies competing with each other. However, in a nation whose ruler claims that there is now democracy with freedom of expression and press on the side of the common citizens, things are still not allowing the press to grow as it shoud as guaranteed by the international terms and conditions of the media world.

In a make-believe effort to educating people on democracy, administration, Gross National Happiness and informing its citizens about what goes in and around the nation, television was brought to Bhutan very recently and that is with limitations and certain restrictions so as to keep its population aloof from the potential outer influences thereof.

The seven reporters had left Bhutan Times in October this year because of persistent editorial interference from the management.

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