Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Students, public to learn about media

March 16, 2010: To create awareness and ed­ucate people on the media, Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), in collaboration with the Min­istry of Education (MoE), has developed a curriculum framework for schools and programmes for the public.

The media literacy cur­riculum and teacher’s guide, which were developed in 2009 by MoIC, MoE, Royal University of Bhutan and oth­er relevant stakeholders after several rounds of consulta­tive meetings, will be imple­mented in five pilot schools this year.

Students of Khasarabchu MSS, Phuenstholing MSS, Yebilaptsa MSS, Mongar HSS and Trashigang MSS will be introduced to the new cur­riculum.

According to the Direc­tor of Department of Infor­mation and Media, Kinley T Wangchuk, the draft strategic curriculum framework was developed based on the best core skills and key concepts practised internationally for media literacy education.

The need for media litera­cy was felt due to the influx of foreign media content and rapid increase of media agen­cies in the country.

“At present, many people are not aware of the media, and there is a need for all rel­evant stakeholders to play a vital role in creating aware­ness of the media in Bhutan,” said Tshering Dendup, assis­tant media officer of DoIM.

Recognising the need to create media awareness among the public, various awareness programmes will be developed in the next few years for literate and illiter­ate people, youth, and special need groups, said Tshering Dendup.

He added that the media literacy programmes will en­able students and public to understand the media and prepare them for life in an information-based society.

The media literacy curricu­lum for schools aims to pre­pare students to be capable and skillful consumers of and contributors to the media as responsible citizens.

According to Wangchuk Rabten, curriculum special­ist of Curriculum and Profes­sional Support Division, me­dia literacy will instill skills to enable media audiences to access, critically analyze, evaluate and participate in producing media products for self-expression.

He said that the concept of media literacy or media lit­eracy education is not only to help the society understand and eliminate negative im­pacts of media messages and images but also to appreciate the role the media play in dis­seminating information and making choices in healthy consumption of the media content.

The programme will also help identify various media sources, critically analyse and reflect on different media texts, understand the tech­niques and technologies used in the media, the way the media operate, acquire skills using the media to communi­cate with others, interpret the messages and values offered by the media, and select ap­propriate media for commu­nicating their messages based on political, social, commer­cial and cultural contexts.

For the public, MoIC will develop a website which will enhance the ability of view­ers and readers to make wise choice on the consumption of media products. It will en­able the public to acquire es­sential skills of enquiry and critical analysis of media products. Audio visual pro­grammes, literacy activities, and public message through cultural programmes, posters and banners, rallies and plays will also be staged to create awareness.

By Namgay Tshering in Bhutan Observer

Media vehicle vandalised

A van belonging to weekly newspaper, The Journalist, published from Thimphu was vandalized by unknown attackers on mid night May 12.

The van was returning office after dropping home one of the paper’s IT staffs, when it was hit at around 12.45 pm, as it passed the road above the golf course area in Thimphu, near Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) building.

Suspected to be hit by stone, vehicle’s left window at the back seat and the rear window are badly shattered, pieces of which fell inside the car. Driver and another staff in the car remain safe. They immediately informed the police for investigation.

Newspaper editor Gopilal Acharya, however, suspects a stray bullet might have hit the van though police say it is not.

Acharya is also the president of Journalists Association of Bhutan (JAB).

It is the first incident of attack on press in the country. The Journalist weekly is being published by the journalists who left Bhutan Times in mass last year alleging managerial interference into the editorial matters.

Association of Press Freedom Activist is very much concerned with the latest incident on media. The attack would not only derail the morality of the journalists, but also curtails their safety and the right to information of the Bhutanese people.

The government must investigate the incident thoroughly and punish those involved in the attack. The government must also ensure safety and security of the media persons.

I. P. Adhikari


Date: May 14, 2020

Media is the message

With all the discussions, disagreements, suggestions, allegations and assumptions making it to the pages of the local print media on the government’s advertising policy that is still being fine tuned, there seems to be agreement at least on one aspect – content is important.

Good writing, accuracy, objectivity, analysis, sensitivity, would be some of the basic rules, among others, that make good content. At this stage, meeting these basic requirements is a struggle for the local media; but most like to believe otherwise.
As has been seen the world over, those that provide the content eventually get a grip on the competition, and make a niche for themselves; no matter how early or late they enter the market. Some thrive on catering to the lowest common denominator; while others reach out for a more sophisticated readership.

Yet, in all the debate and discussion, the Kuensel newspaper has been unfairly projected, simply because it was Bhutan’s first paper; that came into existence in 1986. In fact, the pressure to do better is much more, because of the expectations; and it’s a challenge Kuensel thrives on.

As far as the newsroom goes, Kuensel is in the same boat as most other papers. With most of the older and trained journalists having moved on to other things, or left for greener pastures, it has as many young journalists that need training, exposure and guidance.

Yet government policies have denied Kuensel from competing in open journalism scholarships, which have now been segregated to either private or corporate employees. Coverage of international events, sponsored by NGOs, is also restricted for Kuensel, because of prevailing perceptions that do not have a basis. Even for government sponsored training programmes, Kuensel is usually left out; for reasons that are beyond comprehension.

Meanwhile, Kuensel has basically served as a stamping ground for a number of journalists, who are today at the helm of new papers and earn better salaries than before. It has in fact played a key role in fostering the growth of the private media that has come up for a number of reasons, besides promoting journalism.

There is also widespread perception that Kuensel still receives subsidies. That ended 15 years ago; and, while the private papers are eligible for a five-year tax holiday, Kuensel is not.

A diversity of media is needed, but the competition should be on professional grounds. Like improving content. That way, the overall quality of print journalism in Bhutan will move up. As a public service media, Kuensel will strive to produce good content that serves Bhutanese society.

Courtesy : Kuensel

Yet another FM station comes into operation

In an attempt to allow media flourish in the country, a private FM radio was officially launched on Aug 6.

The Economic Affairs Minister, Khandu Wangchuk, inaugurated Radio High 92.7 MHz FM on Thursday. The radio station is located at the Clock Tower Square in Thimphu.

Owned by Ugyen Dorji, Radio High is the fifth station in the country.

The same name and frequency radio is very famous in the North Bengal of India and covers the districts including Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar and parts of Sikkim to reach over three million people.