Media Law Webinar

Media Law Webinar


  • Understand Bhutanese laws that pertain to the practice of journalism and media.
  • Understand concepts like fundamentals of freedom of media and restrictions, defamation and social media, contempt and judicial proceedings, privacy and data protection, media trial and copyright.

53 Bhutanese media students came together online to understand how media professionals especially the journalists can avoid legal pitfalls as they fulfill their responsibilities to inform, educate and entertain.

MMJ trainees from BMCI, Students from Royal Thimphu College and Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan consisted of the webinar participants facilitated by Mr. Sonam Tshering, Senior Lecturer at Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, Paro.

He gave overview of constitutional protection, defamation, privacy, reporting & judicial protection and other areas in media law that are important for journalism practice in Bhutan.

Discussion on the understanding participants have on media law ensued. Participants were of the view that media law is rule, code of conduct, legislature set by concerned authorities to regulate the functioning of media in the country.

Mr. Sonan explained to participants that media law is related to media in two ways, promoting and regulating media.

Media/press facilitates the citizen with information, thus, serving the ‘right to freedom’ enshrined in the constitution and relaying information to the state on behalf of the citizen, serving the ‘right to freedom of speech, opinion and expression’.

He emphasized that a media or press on its own doesn’t and shouldn’t enjoy the press freedom endowed by the constitution of Bhutan but should have the freedom fulfill the purpose of the public being informed.

Thus, that’s how the facilitator showed how section 2,3 and 5 from Article 7 in the constitution related to each other in regard to serving their core purpose as a watchdog. He also pointed out risk of media/press being used as propaganda tool if they do not ask ‘Hard Questions’ and not only seek updates but strategize how to relay correct information to the citizens and not get caught up in the spirit of animosity and competition.

Points established:

  1. Irrespective of how liberal country is there’ll always limitations to the freedom of media
  2. How understanding ‘Constitutional limitations’ help exercising the press freedom
  3. What are reasonable restrictions by state imposed on reportage on the grounds of the following:

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