Posted by Tshering Tobgay in Media on February 9, 2012 4:45 pm | 9 responses
There’s excitement in the air. The media fraternity has finally launched the Journalists Association of Bhutan. The journey has been long: it began way back in 2006, and has included a UNDP funded project and the establishment of the Bhutan media foundation.
So, naturally, our journalists are excited. I’m excited too. I congratulate our journalists. And I wish them success in their mission to improve the quality of journalism in Bhutan. Congratulations also to JAB’s office bearers, especially to their first president, Passang Dorji.
But there’s another reason for that excitement. The media fraternity has been preoccupied by a state of commotion, confusion and suspicion.
Kuensel informs us that most of them had no idea what was happening and “most came to know about the election only on the evening before.” Kuensel also informs us that two elected members of JAB’s powerful steering committee have already resigned, and that several media houses have questioned the election process, that they have called for a re-election, and that they have been thinking about boycotting the association.
In his letter to the JAB general secretary, Tenzing Lamsang, one of the two steering committee members who resigned, has complained that “… since last evening powerful forces both inside and outside the media have been hard at work to undermine the elections and along with that JAB as an organization.”
Bhutan Today laments that “Everyone wants to hold the reins. But there is a proper way to get there. “By hook or crook” should not be in the dictionary of the Fourth Estate …” And they ask “Where are we failing? Is it the tyranny of the minority but powerful players?”
There’s no doubt that the JAB elections were controversial. But then, on the other hand, every one seems to endorse the new president. If so, where is the controversy? And why did Tenzin Rigden and Tenzin Lamsang resign from the steering committee? Who are the “powerful forces both inside and outside the media” seeking to undermine JAB? Who are those that crave power even “by hook or crook”? Who are the “minority but powerful players” in the media?
There’s excitement in the air. But it could be just a storm in a teacup. Or it could be a dangerous storm, one that is actually about power politics. Either way, we, the people, would be obliged if the media could tell us what all the fuss is about; if they could shed some light on what’s really taking place; if they could give us the really exciting news.
PS:NB: The Photos in This Reproduction have been posted by the Author of this Blog (iamdrukpa)
Responses to “Exciting news”
*Kelpazangla February 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm
So there is corruption lurking in the society who report on other’s corruption. How will media publicise justice with in-house corruption?Ram February 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm It is very exciting indeed. this is the issue with in the media themselves and best one to respond to this excitement is Mr. Tenzing Lamsang himself, may be in a while will get a response to this commotion.
*TP Mishra February 10, 2012 at 12:50 am
Media sector in Bhutan has been emerging (good for all of us); yet it has lot to do to remain voice of the voiceless. “Self-censorship” has been a ‘mantra’ for many journalists in Bhutan. Let’s hope that with the pace in time, media will emerge as real independent and powerful force in Bhutan. Good luck friends!
*Sakpa February 10, 2012 at 7:19 am media boost about transparency and it is high time they practice it what they report and sometimes preach(through editorials)….
*Wondering February 10, 2012 at 10:32 am
of course one can’t make everyone happy…any attempt to such goal will turn out to be extremely tiring and futile. i strongly believe in the leadership of those young leaders elected. bickering by some members of the media was shallow to say the least, it demonstrated immaturity and a sore loser in them and i think those elected should not get effected by it. Tashi delek to passang and the Team …looks like they will need lot more mental strength to make JAB a functioning Association.
*K. B. Wakhley February 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm
What I know and believe is “hearsay” has more value and strength than “evidences”. I know of issues were decisions are taken based on hearsay than on facts. This is a common trend in our society. May be the same sickness got on the Bhutanese Journalists’. If you don’t believe, then read my blog http://www.kbwakhley.blogspot.com.
**Passang Dorji February 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm
Purposes and Functions of JAB
1. Protect and promote the constitutional right to information, freedom of expression and media
2. Maintain and promote a high standard of ethical behavior in the practice of journalism
3. Foster a growing number of professionally trained journalists in the country
4. Protect journalists from hazards such as threats, harassments, litigation, etc. from interest groups
5. Support journalists who are seriously injured or permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty through compensatory grants
6. Promote interaction and exchange of ideas for the professional development of its members
7. Explore funding sources to collaborate in professional education programs for journalists
8. Institute mechanism to recognize journalists through awards and grants
9. Stimulate and sustain professional debate on crucial issues through seminars, workshops and discussion fora.
*Chatu journalist February 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm
This is media politics at its best. Seriously, who are the “powerful forces” both within and without? If anyone should be unhappy with JAB, it would be the media owners. Are they trying to add fuel to the fire, sparking this controversy? Are they trying to destroy JAB even before it is formed. Or are the journalists who did not get elected who are making all the noise? As far as I am concerned, JAB will benefit all journalists of Bhutan. JAB has finally happened and should we start cribbing just because your or my candidate did not get elected. Whoever is behind making all this noise must come upfront and question the people who organized the election, ask for clarifications, instead of using their own newspapers to spread what seems like a “venomous” attack! This speaks very poorly of the Bhutanese media fraternity. We expect more from the fourth estate, not endless bickering, accusations and counter accusations. Media must grow, and this is not the direction.
*Django Peg February 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm
The JAB’s nine point plan is insufficient. The JAB is about journalists not media houses and in that respect what is needed above all is for all journalists to be given a decent signed contract with their employer and to be paid fairly and on time.
At the moment, this is not happening. Until it does, then the whole thing will remain a farce.