Media in Bhutan is at its nascent stage. Despite that fact, Bhutanese media is dutifully carrying the heavy burden of its responsibility – to inform, to educate, and to encourage free and healthy dialogue on issues of national importance, among others. That is why maintaining the freedom of media, print and audiovisual, is of utmost importance especially when are just beginning to take infantile steps towards a vibrant democracy.
The government of the day must play a catalytic role in strengthening and developing the media to be independent and report professionally.
However there is grave danger when the government attempts to control media through various means whether direct or indirect. As exemplified in many countries, governments may then use the media for political purposes and reporting then gets fragmented and biased. Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa is therefore seriously concerned at any motive that is seen as controlling media.
Similarly politicization of apolitical institutions is not only unconstitutional but also grossly undermines the democratic process introduced by our enlightened Leadership.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa believes that while the government must create conducive media market and policy environment in which media and independent journalism will thrive, it must at all cost refrain from asserting control over the media. It is common wisdom why media must stay above politics, be objective, truthful, and independent of the government at all times. For democracy to flourish, we need a diverse and plural media that will represent the views of a cross section of Bhutanese society.
Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa hopes that the government would keep its commitment to strengthen the media and ensure that the media is free from any political and commercial interest. Unfortunately we are yet to see any substantial or concrete steps taken towards fulfilling this commitment.