BICMA may cancel Bhutan Times’ license

Published on Nov 07 2009 // Media Monitor

November 7, 2009: Two weeks after the mass resignation in Bhutan Times, the media regulator, Bhutan Info-Comm and Media Authority (BICMA) is taking up the issue and said things will be decided by its board meetings.

The BICMA has hinted that it will make interrogations with K4 Media, another private company which is now taking up Bhutan Times’ editorial department.

The BICMA further hinted at suspending the license of the paper.

The matter ensued after BIMCA sent a letter to BT on October 23 titled “regarding the editorial team of Bhutan Times” asking the details of the editorial team who will take out the next issue of BT. It asked for a reply on or before the noon of October 30.

The dispute turned nasty when the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of paper Wangcha Sangey, who is also the chairman of the paper’s board of directors, published a letter addressed to the director of BICMA in the October 25 issue of his paper blaming the director for attempting to kill the paper. Sangey said BICMA is a ruthless and dictator.

The letter was not sent to BICMA office as demanded by the authority. However another letter the paper sent to BICMA on November 4 mentioned, “BT has not complied with the deadline and we need to have a closer look on the content of the letter they printed.”

The seven journalists who resigned from the paper have applied for a new newspaper license with the BICMA.