Opening the Gates in Bhutan: Media Gatekeepers and the Agenda of Change

Pek-Dorji, Siok Sian

In: Towards Global Transformation: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Gross National Happiness. Thimphu, The Centre for Bhutan Studies 2008, pp. 88-109 . ISBN 99936-14-42-4

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Communication studies refer to the journalistic 'gatekeepers' as professional, trained editors and reporters with professional news values, setting the agenda for discussion in society, thus putting topics for discussion in the public sphere. The definition of 'gatekeeper' is extended to the family and community that have traditionally been important in the teaching and sharing of values in the home and community. This paper explores the manner in which the new media in Bhutan are changing the traditional role of the gatekeeper in transmitting values, and setting the agenda for the discussion of news and information. It will look at the implications on this tradition in the context of the changing media environment in Bhutan. It examines the new group of gatekeepers who are determining the information we hear, read and see, and influencing emerging social value systems. The paper presents a brief review of current global trends and studies on the role of new media and examines the implications for Bhutan. Strategies to build a healthy media environment are suggested for Bhutan as society builds a media culture that will give its citizens the kind of information, education, and entertainment it needs to achieve a GNH society.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2010 15:20
ISBN: 99936-14-42-4
Faculties / Institutes: Research Organisations / Academies > Centre for Bhutan Studies
DDC-classification: News media, journalism, publishing
Controlled Keywords: Bhutan, Medienkultur, Sozialer Wandel
Uncontrolled Keywords: Öffentlicher Diskurs, Bhutan , Media Culture , Social Change , Public Discourse
Subject (classification): Media
Countries/Regions: Bhutan
Additional Information: Also available at