Chapter 8 INFORMATION AND MEDIA Media in Bhutan is fairly a young development. The concept of the media, as a player in the growth of a modern society began in the mid 1980s, with the establishment of first Bhutanese newspaper, Kuensel and the Bhutan Broadcasting Station. In the late 1990s ICT was introduced and electronic media was added to the list followed by television few years later. Today, Bhutanese media has grown considerably in all its forms â€“ print, broadcast, film, music and internet. Until recently, Kuensel was the only available print media. However, with increasing literacy and changing social needs, two private newspapers, Bhutan Times and Bhutan Observer were licensed in 2006 and another English daily, Bhutan Today, in 2008. All papers are published in English and Dzongkha. Kuensel and Bhutan Times, is biweekly while Bhutan Observer is a weekly edition.
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Postage Stamps Bhutanâ€™s postage stamps is an unusual contributor to the countryâ€™s foreign exchange. Until 1962, there were no regular postage stamps in Bhutan. From earliest times, when messages had to be carried between Dzongs, runners made their way on foot across the rugged mountains, as they still do today in some remote villages which are not yet accessible by road. Under the first Five Year Development Plan (1961-66), a modern internal postal service was organized. A postal agreement with India, providing an international link-up, was concluded in September, 1962 and the first postage stamps were issued the following month. The first three post offices were set up in Phuntsholing, Thimphu and Paro. Today, there are over 90 post offices consisting of two GPOs, 41 post offices and 47
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community mail offices throughout the country. Since the release of its first international postage stamp in 1962, Bhutanese stamps have established a reputation in the international market for the thematic value and technical excellence and its wide variety of exotic innovative stamps. On them are depicted an outstanding range of subjects covering portraits, flora, fauna, pictures of historical Dzongs, landscapes on silk, metal, three-dimensional images to CD ROM on Bhutanâ€™s monarchy and environment. Today, Bhutan has become world-renowned in the philatelic community. The stamps of Bhutan have served as silent ambassadors and as emblems of goodwill.