(AFP) – Feb 23, 2012
NEW DELHI — A new broadsheet newspaper has joined Bhutan's media revolution that has seen more than 10 titles sprout up in the tiny Himalayan nation since the start of democracy in 2008.
"The Bhutanese", another English-language paper, hit the market on Tuesday for the first time and will initially appear as a bi-weekly.
"We feel that there is always a market for a good quality paper," Tenzing Lamsang, the chief executive editor, was quoted as saying on its website.
"The Bhutanese has not been planned as a short-term paper but rather a long term venture dedicated to serious and good journalism."
Bhutan, a sliver of mountains wedged between India and China, famously banned television until 1999 in a bid to protect its unique Buddhist culture, but the advent of democracy has brought media freedom.
The former state-run newspaper Kuensel now faces competition from more than 10 other private titles including The Bhutanese, with seven of them in English and three in the local Dzongkha language.
Few are thought to be profitable and most survive thanks to generous patronage from the government which places public advertising in them.
The kingdom famed for its unique concept of "Gross National Happiness" introduced democracy in 2008 after the former king abdicated and ushered in a period of constitutional democracy.
The throne is now occupied by his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who is seen as keen to open up the isolated nation while still shielding its nearly 700,000-strong population from the effects of globalisation.
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