Only one out of three being entertained

Published on Aug 13 2011 // Media Monitor

Newspaper License Applicants 13 August, 2011 – Only one among the three applicants for a newspaper license with the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority is processing his documents to open a Dzongkha newspaper.

The remaining two did not meet financial or editorial requirements and, to date, have not “appealed” to the authority to follow up with the licensing process, Kuensel has learnt.

One of the interested applicants, who had not “appealed” to reapply for a license, is a former Bhutan Times’s photographer Tenzin Namgyel.

The newspaper, a weekly, which he had planned to open, was to be in based in Trashigang, and cover the six eastern dzongkhags more extensively.

“Most papers we have today are urban centric and the east, which has the maximum number of gewogs, doesn’t make it in the news unless something big happens,” Tenzin Namgyel said.

He said he had gone to BICMA to get information on the licensing criteria, and is still working on getting the requirements in place before applying.

“But there are lots of requirements, especially in terms of the applicant’s financial position ” he said. “They want your bank details, while the editorial should have a minimum of two people with newsroom experience.”

Another interested applicant, who had approached the authority for information on licensing requirements, was the editor of Bhutan Today, Ugyen Tenzin.

“I was just contemplating on starting a weekly and had asked BICMA for information,” the editor said. He said no application was submitted to the authority. One of the requirements for him was a relieving order from the newspaper he works for.

There are today nine papers, including three Dzongkha ones, in the country.

By Sonam Pelden in Kuensel