Thimphu Press Club formally inaugurated

To promote transparency and open dialogue, Bhutan now has its first press club. Named as Thimphu Press Club, the Prime Minister launched the organisation in the capital yesterday. The press club which functions under the Bhutan Media Foundation is envisioned to become a vital forum for professionals from diverse backgrounds to interact, discourse, and exchange information through discussions. Parliamentarians and journalists from various countries also attended the launch event.

One of the club’s key initiatives includes organising monthly dialogue conference covering various themes encompassing media, academics, and executives.

“The Thimphu Press Club is a facility and a forum for professionals from different backgrounds to come together and discuss and deliberate on issues of national importance that will help deepen the public discourse on these issues. It’s also a melting pot for the professionals to discuss,” said Needrup Zangpo, Executive Director of Bhutan Media Foundation.

“I think the establishment of the press club is not only an important step to improve the relationship between politicians and media but also for the population of Bhutan because it creates transparency and makes sure that the flow of information is checked to the highest standard,” said Torsten Herbst, a Member of Parliament from Germany.

Media professionals and officials from various sectors present during the launch welcomed the establishment of the club.

“I do think that we really need a space where journalists can come together because I think if there is a space where all journalists can come together, it’s really good but this space is not just for journalists but it is also for people who are interested in interacting with journalists. And also because it’s done by a membership, I think there is a certain amount of exclusivity which is good,” said Namgay Zam, a media professional.

“I think this will contribute to our society in terms of debate, discourse and it will also serve as a source of ideas where people come together and talk about things that matter to the society and the country at large,” said Passang Dorji (PhD), a Member of Parliament.

Currently, there are around 85 members in the organisation including executives, journalists, public officials, scholars, diplomats, and students.

It was established with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s South Asia office with more than two million ngultrum.

Globally there are more than 40 press clubs spread across five continents.

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