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The Tibet Times (Bod-kyi-Dus-Bab)
Gedun Rabsal, Editor/Director
Disst Kangra, HP, India
The need for an independent press is of great importance to any community, much more so to an exiled community. Inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's desire to promote democratic development throughout the Tibetan community, Bod-kyi-Dus-Bab (Tibet Times) was officially launched on September 13, 1996. The paper was initially published twice a month, but this was found to be unsuitable, as the news value was outdated at the time of distribution. In order to overcome this, and due to the papers increasing popularity, the frequency was changed to every 10 days.
In the short time since the first edition was published, the paper has covered many important and controversial issues, relating to the Tibetan people. We have also interviewed many of the leading figures in both the Tibetan government, and personalities in the Tibetan community. The highlight of the paper's short life span, is that it was personally blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Tibet Times now boasts a circulation base of 3,500, of which the majority of copies are sent to subscribers worldwide. This makes it the largest circulating independent Tibetan newspaper in the world. Examples of countries which receive the paper are, USA, Canada, England, Switzerland, Germany, France and Hong Kong. A substantial number of copies are also delivered free of charge inside Tibet.
To promote the concept of democracy within the Tibetan Community in exile.
To gather and disseminate information on the activities of H.H. the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Tibetan people both in and outside the Chinese occupied region.
To educate the Tibetan people and others about the cultural heritage of Tibet as well as the political, social and environmental developments concerning Tibet and its people.
To develop an understanding between the Tibetans living inside Tibet and those living in exile.
To facilitate communication between the Tibetan Government and the Tibetan people.
CONTENTS OF THE NEWSPAPER
News happenings inside Tibet and exile community
Highlights Tibetan issues in the International scene
Letters to the editor
PROBLEMS AND FUTURE PROGRAMS
1. INCREASING PUBLICATION FREQUENCY
At present Bod Kyi Dus BaB has increased itıs frequency from 15 days to ten days. Earlier we published every 15 days with between 4 and 6 pages per issue. This creates two problems; firstly, the news becomes stale and secondly, due to the volume of news and reports, many important articles have to be ommitted due to a lack of space.
2. LACK OF ADEQUATE PERSONEL FOR INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND REPORTING NEEDS
Since the exiled Tibetan community is scattered in South India, Nepal and Ladakh, it is necessary to have three reporters, employed on an ad-hoc basis, who will travel extensively to these Tibetan settlements. The purpose of their duties are as follows:
to increase awareness of Tibetan affairs;
to report news or events as they unfold;
to encourage people to read news; and
to broaden the market of the newspaper.
3. ENRICHING ITS CONTENT
Other important topics covered in future publications will include:
education on the environment and global issues;
introducing different traditions and cultures;
a column for children;
a) PROJECT OUTPUT
With this project we plan to increase the value of the newspaper as a platform for discussion, for the benefit of readers, as well as to encourage an exchange of views between the CTA and the general public. Therefore, we are planning to appoint three reporters in major Tibetan settlements. They will be provided with travel expenses. Their main responsibility will be to submit fresh and authentic news and events to the head office in Dharamsala. They will also endeavor to increase the publicıs awareness of the newspaper and expand the market.
In an effort to attract more people to reading the newspaper, we plan to provide interesting information on Tibetan Buddhism and to introduce topics on the different traditions, cultures and value systems of Tibet.
A special column for children will be added, and a section on environmental protection. To translate these ideas into practice, both human and financial resources are needed.
b) HUMAN RESOURCE
Bod Kyi Dus Bab (Tibet Times) has a Director cum Editor, Assistant Editor, an Accountant cum Circulation Manager, Cashier cum Office Manager, three Field Reporters, and one peon. Over and above this we still need three ad hoc reporters.
c) PHYSICAL RESOURCE
Bod Kyi Dus Bab is a newly established newspaper. It has very limited modern technology to perform its responsibilities more efficiently and effectively. With the continued increase in news gathering it has now become necessary to purchase more modern facilities in the form of tape recording kit, a photo copy machine, a generator, a suitable press camera. These items are required urgently.
d) FINANCIAL RESOURCE
At present, the newspaper is still in its embrionic stage, and as such it is totally dependent on contributions and assistance from friends and funding agents. In future we plan to expand our market to include Tibetan community South Asia and abroad, by increasing our subscriptions and sales agents.
e) MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING OF THE PROJECT
The Director will take the sole responsibility in implementing and managing this project. The Accountant will be responsible in keeping the account. The accounts will be audited by the Office of the Auditor General of the Central Tibetan administration.
International Tibet Independence Movement
PO Box 194 Fishers, Indiana 46038-0194 United States