Business Bhutan’s editorial policy shall be guided by the governing principles falling under the two groups: policy and objectives, outlined below:
EDITORIAL POLICY GUIDELINES:
- Freedoms of Speech and of the Press are the fundamental tenets of any democracy or an emerging democracy. A free, independent Press is among the most important institutions in a democratic country.
- As a social institution, the Press discharges crucial duties by carrying information, debates, analytical and critical comments on society. The Press is, therefore, particularly responsible for allowing different views to be expressed.
- The Press protects the Freedom of Speech and of the media and it should not yield to any pressure from anybody or any institution that might want to prevent the free flow of accurate factual information, free access to sources and open debate on any matter of importance to society.
- It is the duty of the Press to publish information that should be in the public domain, on what goes on in society and to uncover and disclose matters that ought to be subjected to public debate, analysis, scrutiny or criticism in keeping with the universally acknowledged principle that the media’s primary responsibility is to the people.
- It is the duty of the Press to protect individuals against injustices or neglect committed by public authorities and institutions, private concerns and others.
- Business Bhutan must remain independent of vested interests or external influences. It is committed to being comprehensive and accurate in content and their commentaries fair and considered. Its constant objective is to ascertain and verify the truth of what we publish insofar as this can be established.
- Veracity and accuracy in reporting are an integral part of Business Bhutan’s editorial policy and editors will only publish that which they believe to be true, fair and accurate. Every effort will be made to ascertain the factual accuracy of articles through, for instance, crosschecking of facts and the use of tape-recorders or other recording devices.
- All editorial content will be selected for its inherent news value and not to appease, augment or respond to political, commercial or any other interests. In this respect, all advertisements and advertising-related material will be signposted as such.4.Business Bhutan will differentiate clearly between views and opinion on the one hand and news and reportage on the other. The former, whether they are the opinions of external/guest contributors or of the newsroom itself, will be clearly identified in designated columns or programs. In the case of contributors, articles will carry a biographical line setting out their qualifications and experience.
- Business Bhutan stands for racial, ethnic, religious and communal harmony and political/party tolerance as well as other forms of pluralism: We aim to help audiences of all races, faiths and nations to see events in perspective, and to understand their interrelationships.
- Business Bhutan supports the principles of democracy, as they are most widely understood, that is, good governance, transparency and accountability, regular, free and fair elections as well as social equity. It also supports the role of responsible and credible Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the promotion of democracy and good governance. It supports and promotes the protection and promotion of human rights and civil liberties.
- Business Bhutan supports and promotes public debate on matters of national importance with a view to bringing about behavioral and policy change for the common good.
- Business Bhutan will promote media freedom in the nation, balancing this value with a well-developed sense of responsibility.
- Business Bhutan will be intelligent and broad in its coverage. Its main focus will be on financial news coverage and it will encourage the intelligent expression of Bhutanese thought and perspectives by way of regular contributions from outsiders able to offer unique professional expertise and reasoned diverse opinions on topical issues.
- Business Bhutan will retain a local and national style of coverage.
- Business Bhutan will strive to maintain higher literary, fluency and grammatical standards among editorial staff, pre-eminently in the pursuit of legibility, comprehension, accuracy and balance. Specific consideration is given in this area to the question of phrasing of headlines and captions. Constant care will be taken to ensure that headlines accurately reflect the theme and tone of the article they are based on.
- The typographical layout of Business Bhutan, including the online edition may change from time to time, but the fundamental principle, which applies to print and online presentations, is to present editorial content in an attractive but disciplined, sober, consistent and non-sensationalist format.
- Business Bhutan is committed to training and developing its editorial staff to internationally recognized best practice standards. Staff recruitment is, therefore, rigorous, the policy being to seek qualified journalists or trainees of proven quality with good educational and professional attainments, who will undergo structured training programs, including, whenever possible, exposure overseas.
This section deals with specific objectives, which place obligations on each member of the editorial staff. They should be treated as mandatory expectations in the individual’s day-to-day editorial work. The editors will review their application regularly.
- It is the company’s objective to make the newsroom comparable in authority, balance, credibility and presentation with leading media platforms in other parts of the world. In this regard, it will provide the expertise necessary for the uplift in professional skills and standards. To pursue this objective, its training editors will assist staff in improving their professional performance. Staffs are required to consult their training editor in any area of doubt.
- News stories, which come from sources outside the newsroom, will not be accepted at their face value. Background information, names, ages, titles, contrary points of view (if appropriate) will be thoroughly ascertained before a story is submitted for publication.
- Specialized language and expressions (e.g. such as in medicine, economics, religion, court cases) must be accurately and carefully interpreted into English usage.
- Normally, lists of names at official functions should be eliminated from the text of stories.
- Stories must concentrate on events themselves, not on the names of officials associated with them. A magistrate’s name and title, for example, should not be published unless his/her actions, remarks or other involvement are pertinent to the case or the story.
- Pedantic facts, whose publication is unnecessary, for example, car registration numbers in court and theft stories, lists of minor personal effects, funeral arrangements, etc, should be avoided.
- Except for regional or provincial editions, coverage must avoid the strictly parochial and concentrate on news of national interest. Selection of news will be done with this goal in mind and correspondents will be conscious that their contributions should interest audiences all over the particular country or region. Similarly, non-news events like street and bar brawls, except where they result in large-scale violence or involve newsworthy individuals will be avoided.
- BusinessBhutan’s editorials will base their conclusions on comprehensive research. They will be balanced, constructive and informative and will represent the authoritative voice of the paper and not only that of the writers. Like news stories, they should contain facts not generally known. They will not be spiteful, prejudiced, propagandist or extremist; they will avoid the bizarre and offensive and will always maintain standards of decency and good taste. Wording should be temperate and non-inflammatory.
- Features, except those clearly identified as those of contributors whose views have been solicited by the newspapers on the basis of their specialist value, will be informative, solidly researched, balanced, simply written and will present facts. “Essay-type” features are forbidden. Features writers and other writers will avoid the assumption that they are participants rather than observers.
- Feature “fillers” are forbidden. These are categorized as irrelevant space takers, used in the absence of worthwhile material and generally provided by external services. All features must earn the space they occupy. Acceptable articles in that category will include topical world backgrounders, human-interest features of special appeal to the readership and those with particular relevance to Bhutan.
- Unsolicited features submitted for publication by commercial and other vested interests and pressure groups will, generally, not be accepted. If, exceptionally, any such feature is judged to have particular news value and be worthy of publication, it will be edited to correspond with the style of the particular publication or other outlet and its source will be clearly identified.
- Women’s coverage should not be confined to cosmetic and domestic issues, but must concentrate on the many important women’s issues in Bhutan today. The contents in the women’s pages or programmes, where these exist, must be properly discussed and planned at editorial meetings and should be relevant, topical, professionally written and presented.
- Coverage of news related to the youth should go beyond the apparent preoccupation with simple consumerism and all forms of instant gratification and should aim at focusing on the youth programmes that add value to the general development of societies and expressing the views, raising questions and focusing on preoccupations of the region’s youth.
- Editors must make every effort to eschew material that is vulgar or tasteless. Such content as irresponsible celebrity gossip, salacious writing or stories has no place in any of our platforms and only takes up valuable space that could be better dedicated to more edifying issues.
- Pictures/graphics, including cartoons that make our paper lifeless and dull will be automatically rejected unless they are of major significance. Pictures/graphics will be lively and well composed and earn their place in our platforms.
- Public relations material, both written and pictorial, must be used judiciously. This should not, however, prevent the use of stills in picture reviews, company results and other Press releases where such material concerns topics of genuine public interest. All stories based on PR material so used will, however, be re-written in the news style of the paper, any self-indulgence removed and its inclusions judged solely on its news value. Special care will be taken, however, not to alter or misrepresent the essential factual content of the PR communication.
- Sports coverage must reflect both popular and minority interests. The sports sections will carry, regularly and without fail, the results and, where appropriate, commentaries on all international and national sports events where there is a reasonably significant following in Bhutan.
- The standard of sports writing and presentation will not deviate from those required elsewhere in the paper.
- Columnists and commentators (on staff or outside) should always be identified not just by name, but also by affiliation.
- The paper will practice issue-based as opposed to excessive or continuous personality-based journalism that tends to create an impression that the issues are driven by personal agenda and vendetta and in the process eschews journalism that is based on unsubstantiated rumor and gossip in relation to public figures.
- While recognizing the fact that as individuals, journalists would ordinarily have their own political views and/or political party affiliations or religious affiliations, journalists working for the paper are expected to subordinate their individual political or religious views and to remain apolitical and neutral on religious matters in the course of discharging their official duties so as not to allow their political or religious affiliations or views to influence their editorial judgment.
- Journalists should regularly refer to these guidelines to assist them in structuring their writing, production and presentation to the required standard. Performance will be judged on their ability to interpret and implement these guidelines.
Role of editors
Editors shall take into consideration objective and constructive criticism that is well founded, based on a full and accurate assessment of the facts and offered in the interests of the public at large from any group or person, action or policy.