There has been some criticism of the news article titled, “MoE fires ‘PDP’ Principal and lets the ‘DPT’ one of the hook,” published on 16 August, 2012. The criticism from some of our readers is that this article did not get the version of the Ministry of Education, the other principal and the minister himself.
This according to some of our readers is a violation of The Bhutanese’s editorial policy number 13 which says, “While writing an article which involves conflict between two people or organizations, we will make sure that the voices of both parties are heard, unless one party disagrees to cooperate.”
While this paper accepts that there is some relevance in the criticism, the circumstances and context needs to be explained.
1. The article does have the view of the MoE through its Chief Human Resource Officer Sonam Wangyel who was quoted in the article.
2. The article also says, “Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel was out of the country when The Bhutanese tried to contact. The paper however has asked for an appointment when Lyonpo is back.”
3. The reporter tried to get in touch with the Education Secretary after failing to meet Lyonpo but the secretary was in a function at the India House and declined to comment on the Phone. She asked the reporter to meet her in her office in person. As the view of the HRO of MoE was already there and waiting for the secretary’s comments would mean missing the deadline the reporter decided to get the Secretary’s views for the next issue along with the Minister presenting the MoE’s full views. This is a normal practice in many newspapers.
4. The reporter was working on the story for the immediate next issue of 18th August 2012 when at the last moment he fell ill and so the MoE’s version had to be postponed for the 22nd August issue.
5. In the meantime before The Bhutanese could carry the MoE’s views a private newspaper, Bhutan Today carried the MoE’s one sided and factually incorrect presumptions against this paper including questions on the ‘motive’ of the story without contacting the paper or the main accuser Kinley Tenzin.
6. All the major accusations are backed up by actual documents for example, the signed complaint by 11 teachers against the former Dorokha principal.