In 1986 a weekly government news bulletin, Kuensel, was reformatted under the same title and also published weekly as Bhutan's only newspaper. Published by the Ministry of Communications' Department of Information, Kuensel had a total circulation in 1988 of 12,500 and was published in Dzongkha, Nepali, and English. Indian and other foreign newspapers also were available. Bhutan's low literacy rate, however, means that the majority of the population is not affected by the print media. Oral tradition is very strong, however, and radio broadcasts are widely listened to.
Bhutan Broadcasting Service, established in 1973 and given its current name in 1986, operated under the auspices of the Department of Information; it offered thirty hours a week of shortwave radio programming in Dzongkha, Sharchopkha, Nepali, and English. There was daily FM programming in Thimphu and shortwave reception throughout the rest of the nation in the early 1990s. In 1991 there were thirty-nine public radio stations for internal communications. There were also two stations used exclusively for communications with Bhutan's embassies in New Delhi and Dhaka and thirteen stations used by hydrologists and meteorologists. There were no television stations in Bhutan in the early 1990s, and a 1989 royal decree ended the viewing of foreign television by mandating the dismantling of antennas. The government wanted to prevent Indian and Bangladeshi broadcasts from reaching Bhutan's citizens.
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