Where we stand

For quite some time now, the former Prime Minister has been going around in the rural areas, refuting media reports on various issues, especially on the corruption scams like Gyelpozhing. The verdict on Gyelpozhing from the district court, and now, the high court prove otherwise.

Though it is ethically and morally wrong for any politician to be economical with the truth for short term electoral gains, however, they are also free to exercise their freedom of speech. The voters, for their own sake, should be smart enough to separate the facts from fiction.

What is a matter of concern is that some politicians and their supporters from the incumbent ruling party have been casting doubts on the integrity and intention of media houses behind these stories.

They have, directly or indirectly, pointed at this paper in particular, and have also accused it of having political affiliations. One cornerstone of their allegation is that this paper is always doing ‘negative’ or ‘critical’ (read investigative) stories on the incumbent government. ­­­

The Bhutanese due to less resource and budget, cannot cover a wide array of news like it is done in Kuensel, it neither specializes in financial news like Business Bhutan nor news with rural focus like Bhutan Observer.

The Bhutanese, as announced and explained in its editorial on the launch issue of February 2012, is primarily an investigative paper dedicated mainly to investigative and critical reporting.

This paper will continue to pursue its mandate of providing critical news on any government that comes to power, be it the DPT, DNT, PDP, or DCT, once in power, they can expect the same level of scrutiny and investigative reporting.

We will bring stories on the abuse power or engagement in corruption by the government of the day, as stated in the vision, mission and policy of this paper. The fight against corruption will not stop with a change in parties forming the government.

The Bhutanese is not after individuals, per se, but driven to ensure that the system of governance and the leaders running it and exercising enormous powers are fair, efficient, and transparent in the public interest.

Apart from our investigation mandate, it is incumbent on every media house, big and small, to be a watchdog and be part of the levers of check and balance, which are the essence of any democracy.

Journalists and politicians, by the very nature of their professions and vocational calling, make uncomfortable bed fellows, and are usually on the opposite sides of the fence. If politicians and journalists start ‘getting along’ then both democracy and the public will suffer.

Since our democracy has just completed its first five years, there may be those in the incumbent ruling party who genuinely believe sections of the media to be biased, and have only given them a tough time.

However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Be it in 2013, 2018 or even 2023, the incumbent ruling party will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the media will be treating the new political party in power by the same standards. In fact, if the incumbent party is in the Opposition in the future, they will even cherish the role of the media, and also be accused by the ruling government of fanning the flames.

There are two regional examples to support this; a newspaper in West Bengal, The Telegraph, known for years as the critic of the Left Government in West Bengal was labeled as an Opposition paper by the Left government. However, when the Opposition party of Trinamool Congress formed the government recently, it found that its biggest media headache was The Telegraph, which continues its watchdog role.

Things have reached to such a stage that the paper has been banned from public libraries, and government advertisement has been stopped to the paper. The Left, which is now in Opposition, and carried similar actions, is now protesting against the ‘dictatorial’ attitude of the ruling government on the media clampdown.

In Sikkim, its most popular English daily was associated for years by the then ruling government, of being with the Opposition due to its critical reporting.

However, when this Opposition party formed the government, it found that its biggest critic was the daily paper. This new government soon cracked down on the paper by denying it advertisement, and the editor and the former Opposition leader are no longer friends as they used to be. The former ruling government, now in the Opposition, has instead raised this as an attack on press freedom issue.

The paper, however, is extremely popular with the public that see it performing its critical role as a watchdog.

Ultimately, the sacred relationship of trust is between a paper and its readers. Our readers will find that we will not be any less investigative or critical in pursuing stories, under any other government or party.  The Bhutanese will continue to lead the way with stories to strengthen our democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

Check Also

Opening up Cautiously

After the second dose there is pressure building up from the public for various relaxations, …

12 comments

  1. That’s the spirit spoken as true son of Pelden Drukpa and not like our political parties or their candidates. Be it any govt we need watch dogs print media houses like the bhutanese. 
    When TL wrote on the Jemina stone quarry in 2008 Druk Prado Tshogpa did not raise any objections or issues.
    Should PDP or DNT or DCT gain d confidence to govern not rule the country in 2013 Elections we trust this paper will continue to publish such interesting articles to keep the nation informed of the truth

    • Please use you brains, why should DPT object to any newspaper writing stories about anything, do you mean to say that DPT should have told TL not to write about the Jemina mines. Even for that, you are now trying to fault the DPT.

  2. I think that “The Bhutanese is the ear, nose, Skin & Mouth” of the Anti-Corruption Commission. You are serving the Nation with so much of dedication in the Society to root out the plague in Bhutan -“Corruption” even at the cost of your survival. I think people of Bhutan should understand and support this paper for their noble task.

    If we have corruption in Bhutan, it is like AIDS which will slowly stuff out the life out of you.
    My support always there for this paper provided they are not biased annd politicaaly linfluenced.

  3. Keep up the good work.

  4. But, now that DPT is no longer in the power, why does this paper continue reporting stories against them? Should the media be not fair to all political parties at this time? For instance, BBS gives exactly same length of time even in terms of seconds for the politicians to speak. It is a campaign period and no media should take political sides.

  5. TheBhutanese,

    How will you view this serious RCSC’s lapses issue here?  Why have such a mega national issue of this nature  missed your paper’s investigative and critical coverage? Can we have your views here please? 

  6. Like the paper noted that not all news can be taken up by The Bhutanese. Why not other newspapers who have so many journalists doing nothing take up some issues too. You can’t blame thebhutanese for not doing all the reporting of the country. Why don’t you ask some other papers?

  7. RCSC Commissioner Bachu Phup Dorji openly accepted the main point that these two teachers have breached the civil service code of conduct and therefore, without a doubt, now liable for the “major penalty” equivalent to the degree of the crime.

    Now, how do we understand these tricky technical areas between “major penalty” Vs “the compulsory retirement from civil service with post retirement benefits” kinds of phony ACTION?

    I am bit confused here! If I remember correctly, I think, for a better future, these two teachers on their own peaceful terms opted to resign from the civil service into joining politics. Therefore, for them, letting them off to join politics without any hindrance has come as  one form of good news and additionally, seeing them off with such a lavish farewell with full post retirement benefits can be termed as an another form of a  reward. 

    In my understanding, this is no punishment at all; however, a highly questionable RCSC’s flawed decision which risks sending a wrong message across to the larger civil service community.

     I would rather call this as the civil service DISASTER. 

    The civil servants will now have one extra “BIG HOLE” in the BCSR rules to play around hereafter every time issues of such nature crops up. If this happens, it will tear apart the whole Bhutanese civil service system in no time.  

     God knows, where we are headed! The talks in town are filled with mistrust and high suspicions. In the eyes of the public, RCSC has done a shoddy job! Now, whether or not RCSC has really done their job well, I think, the third view is important. 

    Therefore, as a top priority, ACC should now investigate this whole episode and inform the nation on where we stand on this important matter.

     Bhutan cannot afford to let its very important civil service sector (the RCSC) getting politicized. It has to remain apolitical and neutral at all times.  

    Now, whether or not TG’s RCSC has been living up to this important national mandate is something the ACC must find out?
    The above article tells us that Thinley Jamtsho’s RCSC and the

    While Thinley Jamtsho blatently sided with the PDP with that FAKE action,

  8. kudos the bhutanese ..  govt mouth pieces like Bhutan today , kuesel , and bbs shud open their eyes …. ????????????????  

  9. lets wait and watch and see if u walk the talk……………………………….

  10. Dear Editor, though you claim to be not biased and report as is, just look at your phrase”This paper will continue to pursue its mandate of providing critical news on any government that comes to power, be it the DPT, DNT, PDP, or DCT, once in power, they can expect the same level of scrutiny and investigative reporting.” which betrays your bias. In this election period, when all coverage are being done alphabetically, your embedded firmware has listed the parties in a way you would least likely want to see in power. It is not difficult to see through.

  11. Tshering Tshewang

    As long as truths are brought before the society, public or nation I have always my support to this paper. The work of media is to inform the nation about anything happening around but should be truth.
    So hoping that no wrong information and news will be disseminated to the society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *