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Wangchuk: Introducing mass media in Bhutan

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I have done some pretty interesting things, like bringing FM radio into Bhutan and then followed by television in 1999. If I may explain the background as to why that happened, was that we had no choice, really. In the sense that the technology was getting more sophisticated, the satellite dish sizes were getting smaller and smaller and there was an issue that more and more people would smuggle in satellite dishes into the country to watch what is very un-Bhutanese: The 1998 World Cup. And so we had to take a decision to allow television into the country. Of course we didn't rush with the project, we waited for a very auspicious year, that was 1999 when the country was celebrating 25 years of coronation of the fourth king, it was the silver jubilee. So the project was announced during the silver jubilee year as a celebration. Of course how much of that is impacting the society, how much of the technology has impacted our social or cultural balance, that is still being discussed. I think it is too early to come to any conclusion as of now. Perhaps in ten, twenty years we could make some conclusions. But for now let me say that it was done mainly to counter the influx of a huge area of international channels coming via satellite.

Added on 02 May 2017

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