Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Government and Media friend or foe.

They are neither friend nor foe of each other. Their common interest is to monopolize influence and have the public believe in their ways. Both politicians and journalists would like the people believe that they only work for common good. Although the main agenda is working to better and prosperous livelihoods.  Something like the concept of Rimpoches being  detached from women and wine but women and wine attaching themselves to Rimpoches. So any vice of politicians and media personnels are people's misconception like women and wine attaching to " holy " Rimpoches. 

It is said that media is the 4th estate, Media is the keeper of good governance. Media is the pillar of democracy. Hear it, learn it but don't believe it. For it is the people who must bear these responsibilities under the democratic system.

Sorry folks !  The war of vengeance between the most powerful democratic government and most free media enterprise in America has thrown into the drain all such nonsensical  glorification of the media world.

President Nixon was brought down not just by two journalists but by democracts using the media as their lynch tool. Likewise President Trump is being challenged by democracts 
and forces of establishment that he trampled over to capture the American Presidency. And these forces are using the established media as their most effective and trusted weapon of singular destruction. However,  it is not having the expected Nixon resultant effect.  Unlike President Nixon's world, times have changed. President Trump  has direct access to the people via his Twitter account. So whatever negative established media dishes out, he is able to counter. Due to his position as the President of the only super power, he may be having a wider audience base than any or collective tv networks.

I mention the importance of direct access to the people because real power is not established media. It is direct and instant access to the public. So real power lies in communication channels  that were,  at one time,  controlled by giant Corporate powers who ran the   news prints or radios and tv channels. This is no longer the case under the present scenario. .

At best the Media can now do is to bring about transparency. And  transparency is not exactly as  understood by Bhutanese journalists. For most journalists,  transparency is about government officers sharing their decisions before declaring in public. That is wrong concept and lazy attitude. Transparency is more than parroting/ sharing news of a government statement or decision or policy. It is exposing ins and outs of such a decision or policy. Media houses do not have all the expertise or the  means to carry out such exercise by themselves. Thats where personal contacts, long experiences and professionals in respective fields play the roles. Thats one enduring strength of Tenzing Lamsang at The Bhutanese. He has contacts and information source and the knack. Like him or dislike him. But he is undeniably able. 

Media is not always sincere or even professionally correct. For example much of American media was devoted to bashing North Korea or nuking it.  Even today they do not whole heartedly support the peace initiatives of President Trump. So do not croak too loudly about Media being a voice of reason and good governance. Media houses have their share of bigots and fanatics and even hypocrites.

Media can also act very, very dishonestly. Last year during Doklam, the Indian mass media deluded the world about a " Security Pact " between Bhutan and India. No such pact or agreement was ever discussed or passed in the National Assembly of pre- democracy era. And no such pact was ever signed between India and Bhutan since democracy was introduced. The 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty which was  revised in 2006 had no clause/ provision/ reference to anything about security or defence pact. A huge shameful lie on part of Indian media. And Bhutanese Media stayed like sheep in the pens. So Media has no ethics. It is a tool of the government by its own choice at times and at other times act as adversary of the government to suit its own agenda. But hardly for sake of truth or transparency.

In Bhutan, a journalist was deadly against DPT government and the same journalist  has been deadly for the PDP government. Such behaviour pattern has nothing to do with media ethics or misdeeds or good deeds of a particular government.  Another journalist got an opportunity to work outside and went out but created the impression that atmosphere within Bhutan was not conducive for " able " and " free " thinking  journalist. Haha ! Then returned several months later to work in Bhutan. Apparently the grass was not greener on the other side. So journalist's principle can at times be related to the appetite of the stomach. Nothing to do with journalistic ethics. Similarly  the media also act to suit its own agenda not necessarily of public interest. So try not to issue edict of warning to politicians or Political Parties when your own base of principle is so wobbly.

In nutshell, the Government is not the boss of Media. And Media is not necessarily the conscience of the public nor the keeper of good governance. There are no such thing as True Media or True Politician.  There are no fully powerful Government under democracy and no wholely free Media in free world.  The Boss is supposed to be the People.  And both politicians and journalists live off the nation.   


  1. The freedom of media has been destroyed by PDP government since the government have sacked Editor of keuensel BBS MD and Followed by Dawa, Sonam Ugyen and so on. Thus news feeder became the government.

  2. I know for sure BBS MD term was over. Not sacked.This known fact cast shadow over your other contentions.