The media owners in Bhutan announced the formation of Media Owners Association of Bhutan (MOAB) on 6 January 2015 to fulfil the role of a much needed media association in Bhutan. The MOAB represents media houses – its members are owners, CEOs, MDs and management representatives of 13 media houses, including both print and radio.
The association has been created out of the recognition that the main problem facing all media houses is the issue of sustainability, and that the need of the hour is to address the issue.
MOAB’s objective is to look after the sustainability and economic issues concerning the private media and also media in general. Its objective is also to lobby for government policies and work with all stakeholders to ensure sustainability, viability, and a level playing field for the media as a whole.
MOAB recognises that the Bhutanese media has an important and sacred responsibility in a young democracy, but to fulfil this role successfully, the media houses have to be sustainable.
Currently, the member media houses are Business Bhutan, Bhutan Today, Bhutan Times, The Bhutanese, Druk Melong, Druk Neytshul, Druk Yodzer, Gyalchi Sarshog, The Journalist, Bhutan Observer, Kuzoo FM, Radio Valley and Radio Yiga. The MOAB, where necessary, will also work with state owned media houses like Kuensel and BBS on issues affecting all Media Houses.
MOAB will not duplicate the specialised functions of the Journalists Association of Bhutan (JAB) which is dedicated to looking after the welfare of journalists.
The MOAB will be represented by a President, who has been elected for a three-year term. The President will represent, speak and lobby, on behalf of MOAB, with the government and various other stakeholders.
The first President of MOAB, elected unanimously is Tenzing Lamsang, Editor-in-Chief of The Bhutanese, and a part owner of the paper.
MOAB recognises that if the economic decline of media houses is not reversed, it will affect both the quality and content of Media, and as a result, ultimately lead to a less vibrant media.
MOAB will also be registering as a Civil Society Organisation. The association will meet at regular intervals to discuss important issues related to the media houses, and take necessary actions for the greater good of media houses and media in Bhutan.