Journalists honored in the 7th Annual Journalism Awards

The 7th Annual Journalism Awards organized by the Journalists’ Association of Bhutan on 23 August 2023 highlighted the invaluable contributions of journalists in providing accurate and impactful news to the people and the nation

The Annual Journalism Awards ceremony serves as a platform to recognize the efforts of reporters in uncovering stories that matter and in holding power accountable.

Tenzing Lamsang, the Editor of The Bhutanese, was awarded the highly coveted Jigme Singye Wangchuck Prestigious Award for his career and significant contribution to journalism. This award recognizes journalists who have dedicated a substantial part of their lives to the pursuit of truth and the power of storytelling.

Lamsang also won the Best Investigative Story 2023 for his investigative story on Bhutan’s high fuel prices, which exposed overcharging by Indian oil companies. As a result of his report, the Bhutanese government was able to exert pressure on both the Indian government and oil companies, leading to a notable reduction in fuel prices and substantial annual savings for Bhutan.

He was also awarded the winner of the Crime Story of the Year for a major alleged bank fraud and default case running into hundreds of million by a businessman in Phuntsholing hitting several banks and land buyers.

Several other talented reporters were also lauded for their exceptional work in various categories.

The Young Journalist of the year award went Jigme Wangdi from Kuensel. This is another important award.

Thinley Namgay from Kuensel received the Sports Story of the Year award for his thought-provoking piece on the shortage of sports infrastructure hindering sports development in Bhutan.

Choki Wangmo, also from Kuensel, was honored for her Climate Change Story of the Year, which shed light on the disappearance of 33 percent of lakes in Dagana and its detrimental impact on drinking water and irrigation.

Dechen Dolkar, from Kuensel, received the Business Story of the Year award for her insightful coverage of the predicament faced by non-star-rated hotels due to new tourism policies.

The Culture Story of the Year was awarded to Yangchen C. Rinzin from Kuensel for Yonphula Tshechu that shapes community vitality. This research-based article delves into the connection between community vitality and the impact of culture using the GNH framework

The CSO/CBO Story of the year was awarded to Sangay Rabten from Business Bhutan for the bitter tale of a community-based organization.

The Gender-Sensitive Story of the year was awarded to Damchoe Pem from The Bhutanese for a 19-year-old rape survivor who comes out to encourage others to seek help and not suffer alone.

The photojournalist of the year was awarded to Sonam Phuntsho for horses loitering on Norzin Lam the main street of Thimphu as covid 19 forces residents to avoid moving out of their homes.

The best cameramen of the year was awarded to Kinga Jurmi from BBS.              

The feature story of the year is living with Fear of Gods by Yangyel Lhaden from Kuensel.

The youth story of the year (Dzongkha) is about the lives of hundreds of youths transformed by Tashi Phuntsho from Kuensel.

The editorial story of the year (English) was awarded to Editor Ugyen Tenzin from Business Bhutan.

The editorial story of the year (Dzongkha) to eliminate cyberbullying by Chencho Wangdi from Kuensel.

The news story of the year (Television) to (Tigers Threaten Survival of the Last Yak Herders in Chumey Gewog, Bumthang) was won by Kipchu from BBS.

Other noteworthy awardees include the Radio Program of the Year for contribution of Dessups during the COVID-19 pandemic awarded to Sumitra Pradhan from Yiga Radio.

 The TV Documentary of the Year was awarded to Tigers of the Dragon Land by Sonam Phuntsho. 

During the awards ceremony, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Employment Karma Dorji said “The media is very important and plays a critical role in keeping the nation informed and so an independent media is very crucial.  This government recognizes the independence of media and acknowledges the critical roles it plays and reports to the media. To keep the nation informed access to information is crucial which is why we have streamlined the access to information process and also have updated standard operating procedures to share information with dedicated media focal from each ministry and also have turnaround time for timely information.”

He added that globally, people are losing trust in media because of political inferences and advertising pressure propaganda, but Bhutan enjoys a different scenario, the government has always accorded due importance and support in all possible ways and the biggest asset is the trust that Bhutanese people have in the media.

“Media has a big role in fostering democracy, and as the election is near the role of media will expand and they can be the force to make sure our people make the right choice for the country. So start getting ready for the big task ahead,” Lyonpo Karma Dorji said.

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  1. Minjur Dorji Dukpa

    Tashi Delek

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