Bhutan Observer (BO), a weekly paper decided to suspend its print edition post August 2 but can be accessed online.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BO, Phuntsho Wangmo said market conditions as well as structure and system is not right. So they chose to discontinue, but have plans to come back in future. “It is challenging for the print media to run,” she added.
She said they had about 19 staff when the company was launched in June 2, 2006 and since then after three years of operation the company had a maximum staff of 57. Today it stands at 19 again.
“Being the first private bilingual newspaper, we have played our role in young democracy in 2008 and even in this year’s election” she said. She feels that the paper, being strong and independent, and socially responsible has contributed a lot to democracy.
They have not yet decided on the number of staff who will be working for the online issue, but the CEO plans to retain senior reporters and editors. However, some have to find their own job and some have been offered in business units.
The ‘Independent Voice” being the motto of the paper, the editorial department has won several national journalism awards for the best editorial, best Dzongkha issue, best editorial cartoon, and most valuable story on Gross National Happiness. The present National Council chairperson Dasho Sonam Kinga also worked as an executive editor in this paper.