The world in a tabloid

From the latest news to shopping and keeping tab on friends everything has gone digital

Tashi Wangmo, Thimphu

Times have changed, people today depend everything on digital. If there is something that you would want to know about what is happening in the country and outside, what you would just need is a mobile phone or a computer.

From news updates to shopping, meeting up friends or finding resources on writing assignments everything will be displayed in the click of a button.
To keep up on the growing demands of a digital-hungry world, the director of Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Rinchen Wangdi on June 29, launched websites and apps for print media and radio in Thimphu.

The executive director of Bhutan Media Foundation (BMF), Dawa Penjor, said that BMF had dedicated almost a year and spent about 1M (million) ngultrum in developing these apps with financial support from the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) and GNHC.

“With the launch of the ‘websites and apps for print media and radios’, the Bhutanese news consumer can be informed and entertained anytime and anywhere through their smart phone devices,” he said, adding that anyone with access to internet or mobile devices can access the different private media websites to update on the news and the current affairs and also get access to live aired programs on three private FM radio stations just by downloading the two apps-Bhutan News and Radiola on both android and iOS platform for free.

According to the executive director the websites and apps would bring the print and radio world directly into in the palm of the user’s hand. Further, with the launch, Bhutanese media can expect better online presence and international recognition.

The BMF had also supported nine print and three radio stations to develop and upgrade their online platforms by developing websites and apps with the sole objective to grow media’s reach and its audience not just nationally but also internationally. “BMF hopes that it would also bring additional revenue for the media organization,” he said.

BMF’s initiative is to make media in Bhutan strong and vibrant and it was timely as the advantages of going online are manifolds. “An active, mobile friendly digital presence is more important for media to continue to grow and gain exposure to new and potential clients, who in turn will also help in revenue generation,” he said adding that besides, developing the websites and apps, BMF has already provided the media houses with workshops in skills and knowledge to maintain and upload the contents on a timely basis.

Sonam Zangmo, 27, a student in Australia said that it is good news that they can keep in touch with the home news anywhere they go.
“Unlike in the past I and my friends living here and elsewhere around the globe can now get access to all the home news paper and radio through apps and website,” she said. However, many news websites were found to be static and needed periodic updates.

She said in a few months they are hoping to see many improvements in the contents of the website.
Similarly, Tshering, a civil servant from Lhuentse, said that it is hard to get news paper at his place on time, however, he said with the launch of website and apps he is anticipating to receive news on time.

Meanwhile, many media owners were happy with the websites and apps since it would reduce the business costs, secure and backup the data and also share the latest information anywhere and everywhere on time.

The news-hungry Bhutanese will finally have the command right at their fingertips.

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