Following an election of new executives, three separate media entities have come up to work under same platform of Bhutan Media Society (BMS) and effective information dissemination and advocacy.
Independent journalists, and those associated with the Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) Bhutan and Third World Media Network – Bhutan Chapter have re-expressed commitment for working together under the same platform for promoting the Bhutan News Service (BNS), apfanews.com and the Radio Bhutan Online, all functioning as an independent body.
As per the agreement forged, BMS will remain as the governing body for these three media entities.
Vidhyapati Mishra based in Kathmandu has been unanimously elected as Manager of the society that has a five-member executive body. Other executive members included I. P. Adhikari, Buddha Mani Dhakal, Ichha Poudel and Vikram Adhikari.[album id=5 template=extend]
The new team on Friday also decided to promote www.bhutannewsservice.com as a pure news portal with added features and www.apfanews.com as an advocacy site, with separate editorial teams to look after.
Buddha Mani Dhakal based in Kentucky (US) has been given the responsibility of Executive Chief of the Bhutan News Service while T. P. Mishra has been entrusted to the position of Executive Editor.[album id=6 template=extend]
The editorial team of BNS include R. N. Pokhrel (California), Kazi Gautam (New York), Bhakta Ghimirey (New York) and Ramesh Gautam (Norway).
Considering the requirement of the Bhutanese Diaspora, the BNS is also preparing to develop a separate Nepali news site, and is expected to be ready by September.
I. P. Adhikari from Adelaide (Australia) will lead the editorial team of apfanews.com, where Vidhyapati Mishra and Dhakal will remain as Editors.[album id=7 template=extend]
The apfanews.com shall remain as an advocacy portal and forum for intellectual debate on issues concerning Bhutan and Bhutanese people.
Ichha Poudel has been given the responsibility to lead the Radio Bhutan Online team and will be assisted by most members from APFAnews and BNS news team for radio program production.[album id=9 template=extend]
Issuing a press statement from Kathmandu, newly elected Manager Mishra has thanked the Bhutanese Diaspora for supporting the media activities in exile.
“We are proud that our activities have been always encouraged and supported by fellow Bhutanese languishing in various regions of the world,” said Manager Mishra.
According to Mishra, BMS was pleased to announce the historic donation drive in July this year, in which it was able to collect some US $ 16,000 for fire victims of Goldhap and Sanischare camps, making Bhutanese and well wishers participate in the mission.
“People have noticed and accepted our presence in various social activities besides media and publications,” Mishra said, added–”We are committed to partnering with various community based organizations and resettled Diaspora in future for similar programs and events targeting the society.”
Manager Mishra has recalled that when BMS was announced in 2004, it just consisted of few journalists, all stationed either in Kathmandu or the Bhutanese refugee camps in Jhapa and Morang, Nepal.
Now, the network has reached to various western countries where Bhutanese refugees from the UN-administered camps in Nepal have been resettled.
Initially, BMS promoted the publication of a monthly newspaper The Bhutan Reporter and a weekly radio program – Saranarthi Sarokar from Kathmandu. Gradually, the Society expanded its working areas and involved in various community works such as event organization, volunteering, fund raising during emergency hours, and capacity building trainings for young journalists in camps.
“Our struggle, with enough ups and downs, is still alive, but completing the mission without supports from the community and well wishers would be impossible,” said he, adding—“Though the three bodies would work independently in terms of editorial contents, each one of these bodies will continue to cooperate and help each other during the content generating process. We were and are always one.”