Welcome to Bhutan’s first broadsheet paper. We hope that this paper will not only stand out in size from its other competitors but also in content.
The Bhutanese must first clarify that though the paper intended to start as a daily paper, an unexpected and a dramatic increase in printing prices by the printer from earlier quoted rates has temporarily forced us to start as a bi-weekly. This is because printing consumes a sizeable chunk of the operational cost. We see this only as a temporary setback and in a few months time hope to hit the stands as a daily paper. This development however is also a blessing in disguise at it will allow this company and its employees enough time to get some steady experience.
First of all why the name ‘The Bhutanese’? Apart from having a nice homely ring to it, the name stands for our commitment to the Bhutanese people. A commitment, in which upholding the public interest is at the heart of the paper. Our slogan ‘leading the way’ is a pledge to our readers that we will always endeavor to maintain a high editorial quality and further the boundaries of Bhutanese journalism. It is true that the ‘Bhutanese’ is the eleventh paper in the market after one national daily, one biweekly, five English weeklies and three Dzongkha papers. However, we believe there is always space for a paper that endeavors to provide quality journalism. This newspaper will not be ‘just another paper’ but we are here to make a difference in the lives of the Bhutanese people. For that reason this paper will lay special emphasis on investigative journalism.
The Bhutanese believes while it is important to shine our light on dark corners and demand transparency we in the media must also be transparent. For this reason this paper has publicly published its editorial policy on the op-ed page, the first for a newspaper in Bhutan. This will enable our readers to hold us accountable for our editorial content.
As envisioned in our editorial policy this paper will be neutral and so not favor any political party. For that matter all power centers, organizations, companies and groups, big and small, will not receive any special treatment from this paper. Our commitment will be only to the truth.
This newspaper believes in certain fundamental issues. We are strongly against corruption as we believe it degrades and weakens our nation, we support transparency and therefore legislations like the Right To information Bill as it will improve the lives of every Bhutanese, we stand for the human rights of ordinary Bhutanese citizens, and we will take part in helping create a vibrant democratic culture. This newspaper also believes that democratic institutions including the media have to be protected and strengthened.
We believe that the separation of powers is a must and that the media as the fourth estate must provide a check and balance not only to the executive, judiciary and legislature but also against the influence of big business.
This paper believes in the importance of journalism in Bhutan and will do everything within its capacity to give both respectability and teeth to this vital institution.
The Bhutanese will contribute towards strengthening the intellectual culture in Bhutan that is vital in any vibrant democracy. This paper will at the same time challenge old norms and ideas that are counter-productive to our development. We hope to change rigid mindsets and welcome new ideas. This paper will not be rooted to any particular political or economic ideology and will invite writers of all shades and opinions to pen their thoughts and views on our op-ed page.
It is our honor to launch the paper on the 32nd birth anniversary of our beloved king, and we promise to play our role in achieving his dreams for Bhutan.
We are confident this will be the start of a long, healthy and fruitful relationship with our readers and wish our readers a happy Losar Tashi Delek.