The nation’s first financial paper, Business Bhutan was launched in the capital by the works and human settlement minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba last Saturday.
The 32-page weekly English newspaper and the eight-page free Dzongkha pull-out will reach the readers every Saturday. The paper, published from Thimphu, is owned by Chimi Yangdon and Chhimi Norbhu.
Business Bhutan, priced at Nu 15, has six color pages. The main 24 pages cover local and international financial news as well as general stories from around the nation.
“Our challenge is to present financial news in simple English because our readership includes people from all walks of life,” said the editor, Tashi Dorji.
The paper’s launch was timed with the first anniversary of the global economic meltdown. The maiden issue of Business Bhutan thus covered news related to the recession.
“It is very important to make this paper a credible source of information that people can refer to,” Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba said launching the paper at Hotel Taj Tashi.
With 34 employees, Business Bhutan is the smallest newspaper company in Bhutan. The paper has eight reporters, who had undergone a two-month training. From Yeega Wangmo Pendirika who has worked as a conceptualizer in an advertising company to Tshering Youden who was a militia volunteer during the flush out operation against the militants, the reporters come from diverse backgrounds.
The paper, headed by the chief executive officer, Tshering Wangchuk, has some new components other papers do not offer. The paper has the prices of essential commodities from different parts of the country. For example the prices of different varieties of rice in all major dzongkhags are given.
Business Bhutan has introduced the Newspapers in Education program where students are trained to research, observe, and write on events happening in and around their school in a news article style. A whole broad-sheet color page is devoted to each school, where students conduct survey analysis, write editorials, take photographs, interview people and write news stories. The School Bhutan page resembles the front page of the main newspaper, thereby students can take pride in writing for a national newspaper.
“A lot of people discouraged us against the School Bhutan page. They said that dedicating two full color pages to students is not a financially viable idea. It is hard work, but the amazing response we are getting from educational institutions and parents is very encouraging,” said Tshering Wangchuk.
“There is no greater socially responsibility than helping our future leaders to express themselves,” he added. The paper also has four columnists writing every week on different issues of social interest, career and business tips, a page on new technologies, latest developments in the climate change scene, and updates on market movements in the neighboring countries.
“We will be a local paper with a global perspective,” said the editor.