The annual press freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders is a topic that often stirs debate and scepticism. As a national newspaper deeply entrenched in Bhutanese journalism, we find ourselves questioning the validity of these rankings.

Over the years, not once has Reporters Without Borders sought our input or insights into Bhutan’s press freedom landscape.

One cannot help but wonder: who exactly is Reporters Without Borders consulting to evaluate Bhutan’s press freedom? The absence of engagement with local journalists and media outlets raises serious doubts about the accuracy and comprehensiveness of their assessments.

Here in Bhutan, we pride ourselves in our ability to gauge our own progress and development, setting our own standards and benchmarks. Should you know, Bhutanese journalism is not just a reflection of this ethos; it is a testament to our commitment to responsible and principled reporting.

Unlike some other nations, where sensationalism and misinformation often dominate the media landscape, Bhutanese journalism has always been characterised by its sensibility and integrity. We prioritise accuracy, objectivity, and fairness in our reporting, striving to uphold the highest ethical standards.

In light of this, it seems somewhat ironic that Reporters Without Borders would cast aspersions on the state of press freedom in Bhutan without fully understanding the nuances and complexities of our media environment. It is akin to passing judgment on a dish without ever tasting it or examining the ingredients.

Instead of focusing solely on external assessments, perhaps Reporters Without Borders would benefit from taking a closer look at their own methodologies and criteria for evaluating press freedom. After all, true progress and improvement can only come from introspection and self-reflection.

Furthermore, Bhutanese journalism has much to offer to the global discourse on press freedom and media ethics. Our commitment to ethical journalism and our unique approach to media regulation could serve as a model for other nations struggling to strike a balance between freedom of expression and responsible reporting.

While the press freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders may grab headlines, it is essential to take such assessments with a grain of salt, especially when they fail to capture the true essence of Bhutanese journalism.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to responsible reporting and will continue to uphold the highest standards of journalistic integrity, irrespective of external assessments.