Members of the Journalists Association of Bhutan (JAB) has re-elected Rinzin Wangchuk, Editor of the country’s leading media Kuensel, and a board member of Asia News Network as President.
JAB, an association of, by, and for journalists in Bhutan, is registered as an independent civil society organisation and have 160 members from both print and electronic media houses.
Rinzin said JAB, which works towards promotion of freedom of media, free speech, and right to information, is still a very young organisation. Its vision is to make a vibrant journalism community capable of playing an important role in social, economic, and political progress of the country.
“Our mission is to build a professional and independent journalism community through training, education, and advocacy,” he added.
The Bhutanese media sector faces a number of challenges including “survival” issues; and Rinzin said,”This calls for strong and dedicated office holders who can steer the organisation in the right direction.”
Apart from the core mandate to protect practicing journalists and enhancing the quality of journalism, JAB has been offering training opportunities, particularly to young Bhutanese journalists. It also organizes an annual journalism award and initiated rural reporting grant to help enhance quality.
Rinzin was the general secretary of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Bhutan Chapter between 2007 and 2013. SAFMA was the largest network of mainstream media practitioners of the eight SAARC countries.
He was the first recipient of Jigme Singye Wangchuck prestigious journalism award 2015 in recognition of his contribution to the journalism in Bhutan. The award was instituted as a tribute to His Majesty the Fourth King, Father of Democratic Bhutan,
He was also awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, in 2010-2011. He is an alumnus of the International Journalistic Program (IJP) Fellowship with an internship at Netzeitung online news service based in Berlin, Germany; and completed a diploma course at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (JNU) in New Delhi.