I was reading Bhutan Today the other day and the front page carried some article about Bhutan’s UN Security Council hopes. I think this is an important bit of news because it is a significant indicator of our growth as a nation that is looking to be more active in world politics. There was something about it last Saturday in Business Bhutan, but of course when we have 8 newspapers in the country we will expect to read the same topics hopefully with more information and a different take, or as the newspeople say, ‘angle’ to it.
The article in Bhutan Today made me cringe a little because in the first paragraph it quoted a Nepal newspaper as it’s source on the information regarding what the Bhutan officials were doing abroad.
I see so much wrong in this. Firstly it doesn’t look good for the paper to have to source information about our own country from papers based outside. Second I have learnt in my stint as a reporter that a lot of the stuff we find online are not reliable, second sources are always a big risk. I don’t blame the reporter, much, anyway. A journalist’s job is to look for the news on their own, but since this reporter was not with the said officials at that time, I can see how he would have a hard time reporting. Add to that the fact that our people in the government are not exactly accessible, especially when abroad. I understand that they are busy with the conference.
But I also wish they would understand that whatever is being said on behalf of the country in international forum is important news back home and it is their duty to see to it that the right information reaches the papers back home so that they do not have to resort to trawling the internet and seeking second hand information from foreign publications. The journalists should attempt to contact the right people but these people should also be forthcoming about the developments, especially since it is important that the country hears whats going on from our own representatives.
This is old news, the whole BICMA regulations or guidelines or whatever they are calling it, on films. There have already been a lot of smart responses, but I’d like to add some views of my own.
I don’t know how strictly they are going to enforce the ‘guidelines’, but I don’t see any point in making guidelines if they are not to be implemented- that’s just a waste of time and resources. I read somewhere about the new set of guidelines being just that- guidelines, which will not necessarily have to be followed- pointless, so maybe I misunderstood.
If these are to be enforced, though, I see problems. If BICMA’s goal is to promote culture and language in the country, I would advise them to let the movies be. Our movies in general are not that great, even the filmmakers admit that. Mostly they are borrowed bollywood themes with a convoluted storyline and song sequences. But the producers and directors argue that this is the kind of movies that people want, and if that is the case, I say fair enough. Quality could be improved with awards, which could also include culture and language (oh, that’s already there).
In my view, the more dzongkha movies we have, the more popular they are, the more popular the songs are, the more people learn the language.An example is the new ‘Sharchokpa Zamin’ which is full of western outfits, but was a huge hit. The songs were so popular even people who are not into dzongkha songs were humming them. That’s good I say. Let the filmmakers do their thing, let them do what they think will make their films popular, because popular dzongkha movies will draw in those people who are not into dzongkha, and they will learn.
Besides that, of course movies should be allowed to portray life as it is, not what BICMA thinks is appropriate.
What about violence, nudity, profanity, and the like, then, and the impact such content will have on our young impressionable minds? Well, there is an answer to that, and it is called film ratings. If BICMA really wants to lookout for young impressionable minds, they can start rating films based on their content and allotting age appropriate ratings. Then the theatres can ensure that the young people are not watching what they should not. An attempt to completely block such content from this section of the population is impossible- there is the internet and TV full of unregulated content. All we can hope for is that the adults take responsibility and monitor the children’s intake of media in whatever form.
And for adults, well, is the BICMA trying to protect the adults from violent and sexual content in media? Honestly?