How does media house function in Bhutan? Does the management have a say in the editorial department? There does not however, seem to have a set answer.
The bone of contention in the recent Bhutan Times controversy as accused by the seven journalists was an incessant interference by the new management. Truth however, could not be squeezed out of the issue since the concerned involved persons refused to talk citing excuses.
However, I managed to talk to few media houses and asked them how each of them thought about the unfortunate incident and how they as a media entity functioned.
Most agree, “They should have given more time to the new Chief Executive Officer and should have united in solving the problem instead of just walking away.”
The Managing Director of Bhutan today and the ex-Dzongkha editor of Bhutan Times who now works for Bhutan Today as well condemns the journalists for not giving ample time to the management to come up with the new editorial team without which any media house becomes defunct.
“We maintain a very respectable and a strong boundary between the management and the editorial. We have company rules wherein the management does not have any say how an editorial should work. At the same time, we also respect the management because they have ton make money for company to sustain,” said the Kuensel spokesperson. How nice would it be if this had been the general practice.
Bhutan does not have established policies that define roles and responsibilities of people working in media.
The Bhutan Infocomm and Media authority on 23rd of October had issued a notification to the CEO, Wangcha Sangay demanding as required by “the provision of the act” to submit the credentials of the new editorial team latest by the noon of 30th October-nothing has transpired since.
Should incidents like this be not attended to from the start, democracy will not see the light of the day for long in our tiny Kingdom.