Annual press freedom report
May 4, 2010: Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) – Bhutan has published its annual press freedom report and made public on May 3, the international press freedom day and the founding day of the association.
Entitled diminutive progress, the report gives details of the media development and the constraints media and media persons faced in Bhutan and in exile. The government draft of the advertisement police and increasing management interference into the editorial contents have been noted as major threats to healthy growth of independent media in Bhutan.
Bhutan has drafted and circulated the draft ad policy, government ads to media outlets will be give based on reach and contents. The government proposes that only those carrying news about gross national happiness will get government ads while those carrying entertainment news or criticizing government will not.
Managerial interference into editorial content of the Bhutan Times weekly, government’s attempt to influence the first daily Bhutan Today and obstruction in live telecast of parliamentary proceedings are some of the hindrances observed in the report, which includes all incidents related to media between Amy 3, 2009 to May 3, 2010.