Bhutanese media look to new dawn

Media sit on uncomfortable chairs.

Media see things in the best interest of the nation. Unfortunately often, they end up being called the government’s enemy.

If the government thinks that Bhutanese media have not lived up to expectation, there now is some light to look to. It means access to information could be made more open.

When media get breathing space and freedom to exercise their mandate, they will be able to execute their responsibilities more professionally.

So, when prime minister last week laid it on the line that the government would like to work closely with media, the professionals in the sector took it as new dawn for the media.

Working together, however, could be interpreted two ways. But media will continue to report what should be reported guided by the principles they hold dear. It will not stoop to any interference if they think what they are doing is of significance far greater than the comfort of a single individual or power.

Intimidating the media is never a healthy way to foster trust. Intelligent society, as we should desire ours to be and nurture that dream with sustained effort, cannot do without powerful and independent media.

But media houses must also own up to their failures. Success must never come at the cost of one’s integrity. Strong media is when they can deliver their mandate professionally without fear and favour but with fervour.

The prime minister has assured that the government would look to media to help inform the people about its plans and programmes objectively. What this means is that media houses must step up to delivering the deal.

There are already significant changes to the way government shares information with media. That is good. The key, however, is opening the doors to media. Access to information is critically important to inform the nation and to hold those who fail to execute their duty accountable.

Choking media is inviting corruption. We cannot afford that and will never be threatened by such forces.

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