Thimphu, May 05, 2009: Despite indirect censorship on media, the elected government for the first time arranged for media awards to various journalists as gesture to inspire for better journalism on Sunday.
Kuensel’s reporter Phuntsho Choden won award for best investigative reporting award. Though the budding media industry and journalism beginners are yet to get better at reporting beat and soft news, it is unclear on what basis the government categorized reports as investigative reporting.
Choden’s reporting on the short supply and poor quality of school textbooks was termed the best investigative reporting.
Kuensel won three more awards: The Dark Side of Night Hunting, a feature by Tashi Dema, recognized as the most prominent social issue and Tenzin Dorji was given the best photographer.
For opinion pieces, all three papers (since Bhutan today daily was not included in the contest) were awarded. Kuensel’s deputy editor Kencho Wangdi’s Making Our Religion Relevant, Bhutan Times’ sub-editor Mitra Raj’s First Breach, and Bhutan Observer’s reporter Needrup Zangpo’s Demolish the Wall.
Observer’s Dzongkha editorial team won the best Dzongkha edition of the year beside its cartoonist Chimmi R Namgyel receiving best newspaper cartoon award for Zero Tolerance.
Bhutan Times got three more awards, including the Best Newspaper design. Its editor Gopilal Acharya was awarded for best business report for his article, Heartbreak House. Karma Singye Dorji from the same paper, who happened to be one of the three judges, received best political report for his article One Year of Democracy.
Radio Valley (RV)’s Suja Show, by Ugyen Wangmo, was declared the most entertaining program while Mang Ghi Damkha or Music on Demand’s Pema Wangchuk was the best radio host of the year.
Two other radio stations, Centennial Radio and Kuzoo FM knocked out of the scene.
Government owned Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) took three: Dawa as the best TV anchor and Damcho Wangchuk as most informative radio program for his coverage of the police-youth partnership program. And Neten Dorjee’s documentary on King Jigme Wangchuck was awarded the best television program of the year.
Temzing Lamsang, who was more critical of the government policies and corruptions in public offices, was given not a single award despite his few well written articles.
Two other judges were secretary of the ministry of information and communications and former Kuensel editor Kinley Dorji Kay Kirby Dorji, a former journalist with Los Angeles Times.