After defying the market trend for a long time the New York Times recently was resized as a smaller paper. The paper had to follow the popular demand of readers who found it more comfortable to read a smaller paper.
The Bhutanese based on popular demand has decided to resize Bhutan’s first broadsheet into a smaller but more comfortable size for our readers. While the content of this paper has been widely appreciated across a cross section of society there were two main complaints since our launch.
One was that the paper was large and unwieldy and so difficult to open while on the move or in the bathroom. Our news agents also complained that the paper was difficult to keep on stands due to its large size and as a result smaller papers had better visibility. The other complaint was that given our surprisingly large youth following (18 to 30) the paper was too serious and heavy with no leisure section.
Both the above facts were verified and confirmed to us in a detailed marketing survey of 120 of our readers across various sex, age, professional and socio economic groups.
The new incarnation of the paper addresses both the above issues with a smaller size and also a leisure section.
Another major incentive for the paper in going for a smaller size will be substantial savings in the printing cost of the paper especially at a time when everybody in the country is cutting back.
On a lighter note for those walking to work and back on Tuesdays we hope a smaller paper will be easier to carry and read or also be used as a handy hand fan. The reader also will also be subject to reading shorter editorials.
However, the serious and credible nature of our editorial content will remain unchanged along with our commitment to the reader to further the boundaries of Bhutanese journalism.
One sign that we are doing our job is that this paper even since its launch is under constant pressure by some powerful figures in the government to undermine this paper and along with it press freedom in general.
This paper, however, will continue to stand in the vanguard of press freedom, individual rights, national interest, and democratic values. This paper also takes its role as the fourth estate and a watch dog seriously.
We have good reason to believe through feedback from our readers and the survey that in the last three months since our launch this paper has rapidly developed a special bond with its readers and Bhutanese society as a whole.
Despite the short term challenges we pledge to our readers that this paper will continue to uphold good and ethical journalism and be around to criticize and review governments even when the school students of today become the ministers and prime ministers of tomorrow.