Friday, January 16, 2009

Radio influences mass, newspaper rules decision making

Thimphu, January 15: A recent media impact study by Center for Media and Democracy has revealed that radio still has been the primary source of information for common Bhutanese while newly emerged print media have greater role in influencing decision making at government level.
The radio run by Bhutan Broadcasting Service has covered 33.8 percent of the listeners followed by BBS TV (29.5 percent) and Indian TV (22.3 percent), the research conducted among 1,191 people said. Language, dress, behaviour, thinking and culture are primary areas influenced by media. Though media today has emerged as critical player in politics and democracy, they lack stuffs for children.

49.4 percent respondents say BBS radio is their source of information while 37.6 percent BBS TV and Kuensel has just 27.5 percent share. On the other hand, private radio stations are source of entertainment: Kuzoo FM 35.8 percent. International TV (21.7 percent) and BBS TV (7.7 percent) also inject entertainment capsules.

Following the establishment of local radio station, number of foreign radio listeners has dropped from 33.7 percent in 2003 to nine percent in 2008. BBS TV, launched in 2006, overtook international channels, increasing its viewers from 30 percent to 54 percent.

Newspapers are least popular: 34.6 percent read Kuensel, 21.7 percent Bhutan Times and 20.9 percent Bhutan Observer. Though Dzongkha was the most popular language for TV and radio, for newspapers, English is the preferred language. 14.1 percent said Kuensel as credible source of news, while 6.5 percent said Bhutan Observer and 6.2 percent said Bhutan Times.

Five districts representing the east (Trashigang), west (Thimphu), south (Sarpang, Chukha) and central (Bumthang) regions were covered by the study with 600 rural and 600 urban households.

Source: Bhutan News Service

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