Media infringement reflected, editor and reporters walk out BT

Published on Oct 24 2009 // Media Monitor

Oct 23: Citing interference by the management, the editor and the half of the entire reporters of the Bhutan’s first private newspaper, ‘Bhutan Times’ (BT) tendered resignation yesterday. 

The resignation signed jointly by the editor Gopilal Acharya, the chief reporter and five other reporters was turned into the management, publicizing the notice into effect immediately as dated. 

The resignation letter seems clear enough to reveal the management’s persistent anti-ethical pressure to screw-up the journalists’ pens and mouth piece the public media for the interest of an individual or a limited group. 

Acharya, in his resignation said that to protect the independent journalism in Bhutan and keep up the professional values and principals of journalists primarily caused him and his newsroom staff to end up resigning. 

Wangcha Sangey, the CEO and newly appointed chairman of BT alleged the resigning staff to have been plotting the conspiracy to bankrupt the company. He further said that the BT has no alternative to comply with their decision as they themselves terminated their three years old trained services wherefrom they earned their livelihood. 

“I requested them that the freedom of speech being very important, you can even slur the ministry if it’s wrong, but not Bhutan as a nation. We shouldn’t be prompting personal agenda”, said Sangey. 

He also disclosed the written commitment given by the reporters to work towards accomplishing the company’s goal following a management-editorial meeting that week. Responding a reporter’s question on the probable court case follow up, the CEO stated that he would not choose to waste his time dwelling on the legitimacies.

  Needup Zangpo, the editor of “The Bhutan Observer” affirmed the certainty of the Bhutanese media scenario being crippled with the walk-off of these journalists. He doubted on the possibilities of the following issue being published. Expressing his obligation to the readers Sangey assured to bring out the Sunday issue as scheduled. 

Just over a couple of weeks ago, BT had proclaimed a loss of Nu.(Bhutanese Currency) 5.39 million, causing to endure a change in its management system. Its first issue published on April 30, 2006, BT is the first and the only public limited private media in Bhutan.