Kuensel (newspaper) turns silver

Published on Sep 10 2011 // Media Monitor

As Kuensel celebrates its silver jubilee as a newspaper, it is also a perfect opportunity to reflect on the journey so far.

From a 12-page weekly that was put together by one of the smallest newsrooms in the world, the paper has gone through a process of evolution in content, number of pages and the frequency of editions.

From 12 pages, it increased to 16, then 20. From once a week, it went twice a week and, in April last year, it went six days a week. From film roll, that had to be sent by public transport to Thimphu, now its instant digital.

From official coverage, it captured changes in Bhutanese society, economy and politics. From clear black and white copies, the paper is now a riot of colours.

Today people don’t wait for the paper to be delivered, which took days, weeks and even months. Readers now go online; they want information instantly. Story headlines are delivered directly to mobile phones, just as much as ‘breaking news’ are punched in and sent out over the wire.

With more than 10 newspapers in the market, it is today a competitive environment with journalists working hard to grab eyeballs, to sell, to make money, to stand out.

Newspapers are always on the lookout for the big breaking story, for the scoop that can capture the imagination of the public.

Despite all that what does not change are the principles of journalism that go into reporting and writing a story for a newspaper.

In the past, a good story demanded in depth reporting, accuracy of information, objectivity, balance and writing skills. The same rules apply today and will in the future.

Today, a section of the Bhutanese intelligentsia can’t help wondering whether these rules apply anymore. Journalists probably do not have time to even ask themselves why they are doing a particular story, or what is the purpose of journalism.

But these are questions worth asking as the newspaper celebrates 25 years of its existence. Knowing the past is the key to the future

Kuensel Editorial, September 10, 2011