Uploaded on Feb 19, 2011
Bhutan Observer was launched as Bhutan's first private bilingual newspaper on June 2, 2006, in Thimphu. The paper followed the fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck's vision to ensure a smooth transition to democracy and advance it thereafter.
In 2008, when the first parliamentary elections took place, Bhutan Observer rose up to the daunting challenges of a new system and order of life. Thereafter, it has striven to raise the level of engagement of Bhutanese citizens in the new democratic process.
Bhutan Observer is a private limited company governed by the Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Run by an able team of 60 people working in the editorial, commercial, administrative and managerial departments, it is one of the leading newspapers in Bhutan. The editorial department has won several national journalism awards for the best editorial, best Dzongkha issue, best editorial cartoon, and the most valuable story on gross national happiness.
Bhutan Observer is committed to upholding and strengthening the values and principles that bind this small, but great kingdom. We are a voice with a conscience, and our efforts are aimed at enriching people's lives through unbiased news and information intended to inform, educate and entertain.
Bhutan Observer believes that, in a fast globalizing world, change is inevitable. However, we look at change as an agent of conscious positive transformation, not simply drifting with the tide.
In a country which is highly vulnerable to forces of the outside world, it is easier and more profitable for the media to adopt foreign templates. But we are committed to engage the Bhutanese citizens in a Bhutanese way. We measure our success by what is essentially Bhutanese.
Bhutan Observer does not use crass commercial adverts or pictures of scantily-clad celebrities and explicit graphics as a means to promote itself. This has cost the paper certain segments of the urban population, especially youth, who have grown up on a diet of excessive consumerism and popular culture. But this is the sacrifice we are willing to make.
We recognize that Bhutan's unique values are constantly under threat from foreign media. Our youth are faced with bewildering challenges and temptations. We hope to help instill a sense of pride in what is truly Bhutanese among our youth, through our designated youth pages.
Bhutan Observer believes that what sells well may not necessarily serve the society best. Therefore, we seek to look beyond news and current affairs to explore values behind them. We do this by using the Bhutanese voices telling the Bhutanese stories.
We ensure that every citizen has a voice. We not only write about the rich and the powerful, the khenpos and the ministers, but also about ordinary people, who live their lives with meaning and values.
Bhutan Observer also believes that while a media entity has a commercial side to it, the media are not like any other business. So, they cannot be driven by profit and market forces. We are committed to move ahead with a sense of social responsibility.
We believe that our achievements are not determined by profit alone, but also by positive impact we make on the society. Being a socially-responsible newspaper has meant making financially unsustainable decisions.
A healthy democracy depends on the engagement of the people. The media need to inform and empower citizens. To this end, we are committed to strengthen our nascent democracy and rule of law through engaging the people in constructive discourse and promoting responsibility and accountability.
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