Thursday, January 15, 2009

Radio, local TV influence Bhutanese more than Indian channels

Source: Times of India
THIMPHU: Indian 'saas-bahu' soaps may have a considerable viewership in Bhutan but the influence of local radio and television is felt more insofar
as language, dress, behaviour and culture are concerned, a new study says. According to the draft Media Impact Study (MIS) 2008, conducted by the Centre for Media and Democracy, state-run Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) radio had the widest influence (33.8%), followed by BBS TV (29.5%) and Indian TV channels (22.3%). The most visible media influences are in language, dress, behaviour, thinking and culture, says the study which had 1,191 respondents. Though most feel media promoted Dzongkha (Bhutan's national language) after last year's election debates, others think "a significant development is the emergence of Dzonglish (a mixture of English and Dzongkha), particularly among the youth". The visual media's influence on dress, appearance, concept of beauty and behaviour (imitation of TV actors) are other impacts of the media. "The concept of beauty, with traditional notion of beauty being related to health and strength, is being replaced by the hour-glass figure," the study says. A limited number of Indian channels are aired in Bhutan where television came as late as 1999. The BBS mostly telecasts news and discussion. A few local channels have come up in the last couple of years which telecast entertainment programmes in a country where Indian soaps and Bollywood films are a huge hit.

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