Cultural Maintenance and Promotion: The Print Media's Role in Providing Space for Knowledge and Discourse

Thinley, Dorji

In: Media and public culture: proceedings of the Second International Seminar on Bhutan Studies. Thimphu, Centre for Bhutan Studies 2007, pp. 70-106 . ISBN 99936-14-41-6

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This paper is a discussion of the role of print media in Bhutan in providing public space for cultural knowledge and discourse. Increased exposure to global cultures and consumption of mass media has spawned the growth of a modern cultural trend that challenges the survival of the material and non-material contents of Bhutanese cultural identity. External threats to indigenous Bhutanese culture must be approached intelligently and wisely. The print media in Bhutan serves as an effective mediator between the persistent winds of an aggressive global culture and the small, vulnerable Bhutanese culture. To the English-using Bhutanese population, and to foreigners keen on Bhutan, Kuensel (Bhutan’s print-based national newspaper), and Tashi Delek (Druk Air’s in-flight magazine) are a potent source of cultural knowledge and a forum for cultural expression and exchange, both, therefore, supporting the general quest for cultural maintenance. The discussion of the paper will relate the need for cultural sustainability to the development concept of Gross National Happiness. It argues that the maintenance of the Bhutanese literary, spiritual, and folk cultures through dissemination and articulation in the print media will help contain the overriding influence of modernist cultural values based on ruthless egotism and commercialization of human values. The paper also looks at the role of print media in cultural dissemination and maintenance in a democratic setting. The heavy incursion of non-Bhutanese cultural materials through the mass media inside and from outside Bhutan will influence public knowledge, desire, and lifestyle; hence the need for the print media to recognise its social and cultural responsibilities.

Document type: Book Section
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2009 16:25
ISBN: 99936-14-41-6
Faculties / Institutes: Research Organisations / Academies > Centre for Bhutan Studies
DDC-classification: News media, journalism, publishing
Controlled Keywords: Bhutan, Kulturerbe, Druckmedien
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kulturelles Erbe , Zeitung, Bhutan , Cultural Heritage , Print Media , Newspaper
Subject (classification): Media
Countries/Regions: Bhutan