Bhutan profile - Media

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Bhutanese cameraman on locationImage source, Getty Images
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TV came late to Bhutan

Television did not come to Bhutan until 1999. For years, the country cut itself off, fearing that outside influences would undermine its monarchy and culture.

Radio broadcasting began in 1973 and the internet arrived in 1999.

Media freedom is restricted. The creation in 2018 of a media regulator whose members are appointed by the government "poses a major threat to media independence", says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Self-censorship, especially over criticism of the royal family, is commonplace, says Freedom House.

State-funded BBS is the only TV station to broadcast from Bhutanese soil. But cable TV viewers can choose from Indian and international channels.

There were nearly 400,000 internet users by June 2019 (

RSF says more and more news is circulating on social media. But journalists who post critical reporting are subject to online campaigns by political activists, the watchdog says.

The press