Media of Bhutan

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The various media of Bhutan have historically been government-controlled, although this has changed in recent years. The country has its own newspapers, television and radio broadcasters and Internet Service Providers.


The Kuensel, a newspaper of a government-owned corporation, circulates six days a week in Dzongkha and English. Beginning in April 2006, it competes with the Bhutan Times, Bhutan's first government-authorized privately owned newspaper. In late 2006, another private newspaper, the Bhutan Observer began publication. The Bhutan Today, an English daily newspaper launched in October 2008. In late September 2009, the first Financial Newspaper of Bhutan was launched with the name Business Bhutan.

People working in media in Bhutan receive short term journalism training from Britain, The Netherlands, India and Singapore.

Radio and television[edit]

The Bhutan Broadcasting Service was established in 1973 as a radio service, broadcasting in short wave nationally, and on the FM band in Thimphu. The service started television broadcasts in 1999, making Bhutan the last country in the world to introduce television. As part of the King's modernization program, cable television was introduced shortly after. By 2002, however, the crime rate had increased appreciably, and the introduction of cable television is alleged to be responsible for the spurt in crime.[1]

Electronic media[edit]

Bhutan has about 15,000 Internet users, 25,200 landline subscribers, and 23,000 mobile phone subscribers[citation needed].


"Gasa Lamai Singye" was the first film movie made by Ugyen Wangdi the founder of the Country's fledgling cinema in 1989. The Bhutanese lama Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is a well-known filmmaker, who produced and directed The Cup and Travellers and Magicians. While The Cup was shot in a Tibetan monastery in northern India, Travellers and Magicians was the first feature film to be filmed entirely in Bhutan, with a cast consisting entirely of Bhutanese people. No professional actors were used in either film. Historically, films in Bhutan were often adaptations of Bollywood films however in recent years film makers are aiming at defining Bhutanese cinema, nevertheless influence from Bollywood is still a major inspiration.[1] More recently the popularity of Korean dramas have also had some effect on Bhutanese cinema.[2]