To provide understanding and clarity on the roles and responsibilities of Information & Media Officers (IMOs), the Department of Information & Media (DoIM) organized a weeklong IMO training from December 1 to December 5.
There were 35 IMOs from Ministries and Autonomous agencies who participated in the training. It is aimed at effective facilitation of media and also enhancing timely access to information.
In awarding of certificates ceremony to IMOs on December 7, the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communication, Dasho Kinley Dorji said that the IMOs at the present take up the responsibility as an additional one and not a full time job as IMOs keep on changing.
He said that IMOs cannot be a part time job. He hoped with the training, that it would create a good link between the officials of the Government and the news media. He also hoped it would strengthen the media when the Bhutanese society needs a professional media.
Dasho Kinley Dorji said the media has been complaining that the government is not providing information while on the other side the government keeps complaining that the media is not checking facts and is engaging in defamation.
Minister of Information and Communication, Lyonpo D.N Dhungyel said, “IMOs cannot function as part time job holders or holding responsibility elsewhere, IMOs should be IMOs for Ministries or agencies.”
Lyonpo said IMOs being given full time responsibility will take a bit of time, but he said he was confidently that it would happen.
Lyonpo further added that IMOs should not only be eyes and ears of the Ministries or Agencies but also representative of it to media professionals and others.
In addition, Lyonpo said the responsibility of IMOs is vital. He said IMOs must know all the policies of the Ministries or agencies, give right and required information and in doing so inform the people in the correct manner.
The training was conducted in collaboration with the Bhutan Media and Communications Institute (BMCI) and former senior Journalists were also involved in the training of IMOs.