Stifling self-censorship

In 1999, Bhutan was one of the last countries in the world to allow television and the Internet into its country. The kingdom is now evolving and the media landscape with it. The number of privately-owned media is still low but pluralism seems to have been developing since the transition from absolute to constitutional monarchy in 2008, and foreign journalists with official accreditation are able to operate freely. However, the adoption of the Bhutan Information Communications and Media Act in 2006 and the creation of a media regulatory authority have reinforced the government’s armory of draconian legislation, which already included a national security law that punishes any attempt to create “misunderstanding or hostility between the government and people.” Legislation criminalizing defamation in 2016 encouraged self-censorship by journalists and restricted the ability of the media to work freely.

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



94 in 2016

Global score


30.73 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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