Unbalanced Coverage

I watched with interest the news coverage of the BBS on the blocking of the Bhutannomics website. Though the topic was interesting I felt the news coverage was biased in favor of the government.

Both the tone and the content of the news coverage were aimed at declaring that Bhutannomics was not blocked by the government. The Dzongkha news section was particularly biased though the English section was better particularly due to the guest speaker.

The coverage first gave more time to the government officials like MoIC Secretary and Druk Net to deny and dismiss that Bhutannomics was blocked. This was highly suspicious when officials from MoIC and Druk Net had already said the same in stories by The Bhutanese and Kuensel published a week before.

As an informed citizen and regular reader of both Kuensel and The Bhutanese I had seen that both papers had covered the story and given the government its say. However, BBS suspiciously featured only The Bhutanese paper’s stories perhaps attempting to show that this was a story covered by just one paper which has an anti-government track record.

The BBS also referred to Bhutan being defamed internationally as international media had picked up on this issue. However, on closer observation the so called ‘international media’ is a lone bloggers site without much influence.

The partisan coverage also failed to mention that The Bhutanese and Kuensel had both already carried the government version denying the blockage. Instead it was made to appear that BBS was the one getting the other side’s view on the issue.

This is not the first time that BBS has attempted to silence criticism against the government. In an earlier one-sided coverage the BBS upheld the government’s stance on Denchi Land case even after a second story by The Bhutanese based on strong facts completely proved the government’s Denchi rebuttal wrong.

by Karma Jamtsho

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8 comments

  1. It was a great topic but with stupid actors- guests and anchors. This is 21st century and we cannot be fooled like in Stone Age. The Website in question was accessible through other ISPs (Tashi & Samden) and was also accessible abroad. So which fool says that it was not blocked by druknet in its ISP system.

  2. Anchor is stupid and he needs break now..

  3. UNFAIR IN PROVIDING SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2013

    In this year’s selection of scholarship things are made unfair by not letting students to select some of the scholarship specially those scholarship in third countries. No one knows the reason behind but surely it is not a fair process.

    This unfairness was done by not allowing students to select some scholarship under Education and Academics (B.Sc Physics, B.Sc Chemistry, B.Sc Biology, B Sc mathematics) on the first day along with Medicine, Engineering and Biological Science depriving their opportunity of choice. Is it because those above scholarships are abroad? Otherwise there is no reason not to allow selection of placement for those four scholarships on the same day. The management has unnecessarily put students under stress without any good reasons.

    To me it would have been best to open up all the related scholarship with the set criteria on the same day. For instance for Medicine and Biological Science students (Combination of Physics, Chemistry & Biology), all 61slot for medicine, 14 slots for Biological Sciences and including 2 slots education and Academics should have been kept open. Likewise, even for the Engineering (Combination of Physics, Chemistry and Maths) including 4 slots for the education and academic should have been kept open on the same day.

    This comment is made with an intension that someone will seriously look into the matter and accept the required correction at the earliest. I think knowing the mistake and not able to accept it is a crime. I am a concerned citizen and I hope this is raised not for my benefit but for the benefit of all future students.

    Thanks

  4. Regarding the bhutannomics website, it is worth blocking no matter who did it. The website is so biased that it is going to create disharmony in the country. I am a simple peace loving citizen and don’t like pointing fingers to only one section of the society to curve the corruption. The website is purely launched to target few and not to expose all kinds of corruption irrespective of who they are and which section of society they belong. I as an individual would support if only the website have a goal to fight corruption in general to have a better place to live in or a corrupt free country. In other words no one has right to in-sight division in the community in the name of exposing corrupted people which is only one side of the same coin.  

  5. My say about Bhutanomics website: From http://www.monutamang.blogspot.com
    Bhutanomics-hall of defamation
    Dear Bhutanomics,
    I am one of the Bhutanese youth, and this post is based on what I feel about Bhutanomics as a young mind of Bhutan. 
    I believe that Bhutanomics is hosted by a group of educated lots of Bhutan. And also, I appreciate your effort to highlight the mis-happenings in Bhutan. I am one of the regular and silent visitor of your website.  I did not comment till now because I fear the language used by the anonymous users. I was once called mother f*** in The Bhutanese website. If so, there is no room for healthy discussion. Lately, numerous questions started to startle me in regards to your website.  It is one of the highly viewed blog in Bhutan with high traffic. 
    Freedom of speech is granted by the constitution of Bhutan, but it does not mean we can defame individual publicly. And yet say that we have right to do so. Teach us the healthy way of discussion, and constructive criticism to help build up the nation. Teach us to appreciate those hard works done by our government. Teach us to be confident and bold enough to show our face in public, not to bark from behind the veil. If there is truth, do not fear to speak it openly. Your anonymity makes us feel that we aren’t granted freedom of speech, and those anonymous user mostly write fake things making the scene dirty, yet pretend that they are saying the truth. You make us see through your shaded lens. Teach us that defamation and personal attacks are not healthy ingredients to build our young democracy. Teach us that appreciations is there for every good deeds as much as there are criticisms for bad deeds. 
    As of now, I have seen our honorable prime minister Jigme Y Thinley as the target in Bhutanomics, and mostly DPT is defamed publicly. Can’t our freelance writers write something beyond defamation and personal attacks? Can’t our freelance writer tell us about the success of our government when they can point out minute details of their failure? Why selective and partial reporting standing behind the mask? Do not confuse and influence the people. Do not make us curse our government with your highly exaggerated posts. Most of the posts are evidence less, and highly manipulated. 
    Once, Mr. Needrup Zangpo, editor of Bhutan Observer posted about ban of chewing gum in Singapore to keep their place clean. Singapore is a developed country, yet they have bans. If this ban come in Bhutan, people would cry and throw their comment to governments like pots and pans. Same thing happened with TCA and pedestrian day. Those ideas were not bad, but people interpreted it in bad ways. And it became less strict, less effective. If same things continues to happen, we would take much longer time to develop fully. 
    I wish Bhutanomics hear me, and take my points into the consideration. 
    Thank you.

  6. HAHAHA talking about unbalanced coverage especially a website like Bhutanomics is highly ironical. The website itself is the personification of biased reporting. Any fool that doesn’t have a hidden agenda can tell what the websites true intentions are. As far as I can tell, as an unbiased bystander, Bhutanomics is a highly political website developed purely to attack DPT using the anonymity of the WWW. And I don’t think the owners of the website would even deny that fact. 

    I think it is healthy for Bhutan’s democracy in the long run to have the ability to voice out our opinions, even if intentions aren’t stellar sometimes. In the end having the opportunity to make voices heard is far better than not. And I believe, in this area the present government has gone out of their way to ensure that freedom to the press even though there have been ample opportunities for them to crack down on misreporting etc. which could have stifled the growth of the media. We should remember that we are a country in transition to democracy and a lot of things are still up in the air which can be interpreted one way or another. This is where the precedence is set from where we cannot change.

  7. We urge the RGOB to lift the ban on Bhutanomics with immediate effect, far from it making DPT less popular with their smear campaign, more people were actually beginning to support the DPT.

    At the least, please give us the opportunity to have a fair shot at them too, like we are doing to this paper.

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