Need to include media

Many public institutions see media as their enemies. There could be reasons why media presence is not welcomed. But this is not a good thing for a society that strives for transparency and accountability.

At the recent training of the drangpons of the dzongkhag courts that was organised by Bhutan National Legal Institute and Anti-Corruption Commission in Thimphu, participants and resource persons were scandalised to see reporters in the room.

We do not understand why these things happen, why relation between public offices and the media is so unnecessarily awkward.

It is the responsibility of the media to write about events and important developments occurring in the country. We have a mandate to inform the people and educate them. We believe that our government offices and officials wouldn’t be discussing behind the closed doors things that will not benefit the country and the people.

But it is important that citizens know what is happening in the country, ministries and sectors. The people have the right to know what development plans are in the offing, which will help them participate in important national debates.

This culture of fearing media is unhealthy and it could be counterproductive to government offices that do not entertain media’s presence. They risk being seen as untouchables and, so, corrupt.

It was shocking indeed that judges had to panic because media had entered training room for coverage. Training is important. That’s why the organisers found its relevance. Media need to tell people that such and such training is happening for certain end. We do not see why media should not cover training programmes.

At the time when judiciary is striving to build new image, media sees it as their responsibility to help the sector achieve its dreams. Because, ultimately, good judicial systems will only benefit the people and the country.

When even media cannot approach government offices, their trust will suffer. And this will have a wide-ranging impact on transparency and accountability.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    I am actually not sure whether I need to know about a training programme for some judges. This is when I have assumed that I don’t come under the definition of media in today’s fast changing time. We are always thankful to media for the informations and news that they bring to light for our benefits.

    May be it’s time for media to think why someone or some organisation or some event should fear presence of media. I really feel that media should be everywhere except the very private places like the bedrooms or the bathrooms. And of course that there will be places where professional privacy is the need of the profession involved. At times, even media falls in that category. And we also respect privacy for media as without that, even media can’t function the way it’s meant to be.

    If media feels that it’s something that people fear, probably it’s the responsibility of media to clear the misconceptions. In this particular post, we have mentioned a training programme for judges. Frankly speaking, even a criminal shouldn’t fear media as he is most likely to be standing the trial in the courtroom where media can definitely has its presence to record the proceedings. And media always can help the investigating agencies in any legal system. Professionals may make humanly errors, but media don’t.

    May be it’s a case of people fearing the competition within media. Media is the most important advocate for transparency in any society. But today, we need highly qualified business graduates and management professionals to understand the complicated business models involved in media. May be only media can explain a few things here so we people don’t need to fear the competitions that exist in the field of media.

    When information is business today, a simple news bringing transparency to our perceptions cannot be considered a by-product of some kind. We have crossed that period in time when media in many ways used to seek formal permissions to report a matter; haven’t we? The question is whether that permission was ever required at all! The sad part is that it has become a thing of professional mannerism for many institutions and organisations to dislike (not necessarily a fear) media presence. Should media be also included in that list?

    When media understands all the matters with greater clarity, only media can answer why some public or private organisations or individuals will not welcome something as beneficial as media presence. After all, every competition today is always of the most transparent nature. At least that we all very well understand without a report being prepared on that.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply