Though the state of media in Bhutan is not very promising, colleges and schools are striving to provide quality media literacy.
Sherubtse College alone in the country has been providing media courses both in English and Dzongkha for the last seven years with 131 graduates.
A media student who belonged to the first media batch in Sherubtse, now a journalist, said that studying media helped her understand how it works in Bhutan.
Another media graduate, Passang Dorji, said pursuing media has added to his knowledge. “I saw voluminous changes in myself after pursing media course for four years.”
He said he has become more adventurous and strives to bring about positive impact with his efforts.
A journalist, actor, musician and radio jockey at Radio valley Kunga Tenzin Dorji said that the market for media students is very limited therefore most media outlets cannot hire staffs. “And if you wish to work abroad, you must be a senior journalist.”
However, he added that if journalists are innovative enough they can market themselves on social media.
Talking about schools and colleges in Bhutan grooming students to be journalists, Kunga Tenzin Dorji said that he is not very optimistic about the quality of studies. He expects that it might change later on so that the students will go on to become journalists who are well honed in their craft and have strong journalistic principles and ethics.
The media lecturer of Sherubtse College, Sangay Tshechu said that the media course helps groom students by providing wholesome media education.
Media teacher at Rangjung Central School Yeshi Dorji said that the shortage of adequate media equipment such as camera and insufficient and experienced human resources are challenges faced by the schools and college.
Sangay Tsechu said that today, everyone has access to technology like smart phones and social media therefore, youth especially should be media literate.
Chimi Wangchuk, a second year English media student said that if the state of media in the country improves, the country can develop better.
Passang Dorji said that more media houses should come up and absorb media students despite hurdles so that the country has a thriving media industry.
A journalist choosing anonymity said that the freedom of speech in Bhutan is restricted and media houses are gender insensitive.
“News is Thimphu-centric. We must cover more rural stories. And editors have monopoly over the newsroom. There is very little reporters’ say.”
Media course in high school was introduced in 2015. Since then, Rangjung Central School saw 52 media students graduated.
Sangay Dema from Thimphu