During the meet-the-press held yesterday, Lyonchhen Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering said, “I am deeply disappointed that individuals and organizations are unwilling to speak with the media. That is not right; one must understand that it is part of their responsibility.”
Lyonchhen stated that ACC has recently expressed concern about the public service management system, which is nothing new; it has always existed.
“It just states that individuals who take full responsibility must be accountable. I didn’t see anything major. If some agencies are completely unwilling to speak with the media, I don’t have authority or have a direct role to tell them,” Lyonchhen said.
He said he has no say over bodies like the RAA, ACC, RCSC etc.
Lyonchhen went on to say that the media is crucial, and the government must inform the public on matters done for the public good.
“The only way we can share about this crucial information is through the media. It is very useful,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen added, “My sole plea to all agencies is that if they care about what they are doing for the betterment of the country, if it is public service, the public should be informed of it. I have no say if they convey the information to every household individually, and if they are unable to do so, they must understand that sharing information with the media is part of their responsibility.”
Lyonchhen said that media is doing what they are supposed to do; they’re getting paid to do it. It is part of one’s responsibility to share information.
Lyonchhen remarked that Bhutan has one of the best information access in the world.
“I am not subject to censorship since I am the Head of Government speaking. You are free to contact me at any time. The PMO is working day and night. I have consistently assured the media that if you did not have access to specific information, then send the questions to us, we would make sure that person or agency spoke to you, texted your questions, or we would get answers for you,” Lyonchhen remarked.
He said he is not saying this to please the media but it is his job.
Lyonchhen said, “Some media representatives approached me, and said that print media cannot go online as per MoIC, that what you share online must be the content of the print, and we explained to the relevant agencies that if it is in the law that they cannot do it, but if it is not in the law, we must allow them,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen also pointed out that mainstream media is dying because of social media, and therefore, media experts should explore newer avenues.
“With social media growing, and conventional media platforms are taking a backstage, they are actually dying, thus our media experts should explore newer avenues, and let them write, and we should not be restrictive. I requested the relevant agencies, they understood it, and BICMA issued a circular declaring that any media source may do it. They could provide breaking news on Facebook, a print media outlet does not have to limit itself to print, and what you broadcast on Facebook,” Lyonchhen said.