From rescuing animals to empowering women to enhancing transparency in governance, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs play a number of vital roles. However, officials from the CSOs said most people are unaware of their existence and duties. To improve coordination between media and CSOs, a workshop was held in Phuentshogling recently.
According to a report by the HELVETAS, less than 40 per cent of the people knew at least one CSO in their community and more than 60 per cent were unaware of the existence of any CSOs in their community. Officials representing various CSOs said it would be difficult for people to access the services of CSOs if they are not aware of their existence.
Bhutan Media Foundation’s Executive Director, Needrup Zangpo said, “the CSOs and media in Bhutan understand each other very little. Therefore, the media often tends to misreport the activities of CSOs. CSOs also are not able to reach out to the media because they do not understand the media enough, how the media operates, the technicalities and so on.”
“CSOs are mostly engaged in their own works, that’s why there is little interaction between the media and the CSOs. Hereafter, if the media and CSOs work together, it will help enhance civic space in the country,” said Tshering Tenzin, an employee of Kuzoo FM.
“The CSOs did not reach out to us much. They did not inform the journalists of their activities. So far, we did not have a good connection with the CSOs. CSOs try to reach the unreached and this should be actually known by the society as well as the government,” said Sangay Rabten.
The workshop was supported by the HELVETAS. Bhutan Media Foundation which conducted the workshop in collaboration with a few other organisations said they will continue organising such workshops with the media.