Sunday, January 9, 2011

Emergence of Partisan Media in Tibetan Politics

Apart from the many firsts surrounding our coming Katri elections, the emergence of partisan media in Tibetan politics is yet another development one must not overlook. Now I would not go on a wikipedia search rampage here, by providing my blog visitors with some long historical and archaic background concerning "Partisan Media", but a brief description in plain simple English should suffice.

I can surely provide you with some high worded, scholarly sounding definitions of the matter in question, but that has never been my style. "Partisan Media" basically means a media organisation or outlet of any form, that supports and purports (spreads), the objectives of either an individual or a group of individual,in most cases a political party.

In case of the US politics, news media groups like FOX News, MSNBC, etc each has its core interest group. While Fox news supports and spreads Republican ( a political party in US) agenda, MSNBC is known to lean more towards the Democratic (another pol. party) agenda. To give some Indian examples, Aaj Tak is more or less a trumpet for BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) agenda, while NDTV, IBN etc more or less lean towards the supposedly more liberal Congress Party.

All this is well known and forgive me, If in any way I sound patronizing towards any of my reader's intelligence.

TPR(Tibetan Political Review) can definitely be crowned as the first partisan website/pseudo politico-journal that has emerged as the result of this election. Is that a positive development? Definitely yes!! We surely need such partisan groups to define and represent the aspirations of different groups.

So, what is the problem here?

One of the biggest problems that many fail to see, is the fact that, most of the partisan media groups are well known in their respective countries or spheres of influence, as to who they represent. My examples of Fox News, MSNBC, etc were meant to reflect that.

With Tibetan Political arena, the problem lies in the ambiguity of such organisations and their affiliation. Without the clarity of information that allows innocent web goers to determine whose side the media group is, it creates an atmosphere of ambiguity and distrust. Under such circumstances, the media can effectively manipulate and channel the fear of public, under the garbs of a neutral "Entity".

Only a regular reader of TPR ( Tibetan Political Review) would be able to gauge the organisation's partisan nature. This runs the risk of creating confusion among occasional web goers who stumble upon the website and deem it as a reliable source of information. Personally, some how I always end up thinking of "Glenn Beck" ( a big time, crazed politico partisan with republican leanings), whenever I read any commentaries by TPR. However, I do believe they are not as crazed up.

Though I commend TPR for its efforts in creating awareness about the coming elections. I sincerely believe that the partisan nature of its establishment, should and must become open to public, just like any other such media groups. And this is the purpose of this blog entry.

Now bloggers differ in many ways, not only they make clear that the views are completely personal, but agree to the opinionated nature of its content. Which in turn results in unprecedented transparency.This is completely absent in TPR's hefty goals of unbiased public service.

TPR's initiative in creating the first partisan media outlet, has paved the way for many such future establishments. However, bloggers like us will make sure that the partisan nature of their agendas is revealed to the public.


  1. Rinchen la,

    another great piece. We all know which way the TPR is leaning. It's a TNT propaganda machine.

    The Chief Editor is a Kudrak descendant. Many Kudraks are still trying to hold power upon the Tibetan people.

    The Kudraks ruled our country for centuries, and are responsible for the lose of our land to the red Chinese. They held power even in the exile set up for the last 50 years.

    They were like the real enemies of the common Tibetan masses. Some Tibetans have suffered more under the Kudraks than they have under the Chinese rule.

    What do they want more?

    Behold Kudraks! time has changed. The common Tibetan people are rising up now. We will elect Lobsang Sangay as our next Kalon Tripa.

    Down with biased journalism and misinformation.

    Bod Gyalo.

  2. Thank you Richen la!

    Sure we will vote and elect Lobsang Sangay la for our Katri.

  3. Rinchen la,
    I must disagree here. TPR may have put out more material criticizing LS than other candidates, but let's think about possible reasons before labeling them. 1) LS has been campaigning aggressively right from the start...more spotlight brings more votes, but hand in hand with more criticism. 2) maybe it's because there ARE holes in LS campaign. Also, I don't see Fox News putting out campaign material from the Democrats. TPR's editors have analyzed all candidates and allowed them and their campaigners a platform for discussion. Also, just as an example, TPR released LS exemption letter and photocopies of IC in defense of accusations against LS before his own website did.

  4. Rinchen la,
    Thank you for your sincere comment. We all know that TPR is TNT's mouthpiece. So far we have never seen any study or research written on other two candidates. Dear editor, please do some reaserch on other two candidates too and make it transparent.

    Thank you.


  5. Comparing TPR to Fox News is a like royal treat for these privileged people. Fox News directly and indirectly gauges its news and "views" in favor of Republican mostly because of their shared conservative ideology.
    TPR's news and "analysis" are spewed out of nepotism. For that reason, we can compare TPR with Xinhai News Agency of PRC.
    If TPR acts like Fox News, it's still acceptable to me.

  6. Rinchen-la, Good job. Please keep-up

  7. Interesting read.
    I noticed that some one called Deden Shakabpa is the editor in chief of TPR. I wonder if he is related to Tsipon Shakabpa
    If he is related to Tsipon Shakabpa, then I have no faith in TPR at all.

    I found the below comment on the regarding "Demagogue vs Democracy" by somone called Inissini

    "Unfortunately, the articles from TPR triggered this whole suspicion about Kudrak's ganging up together to beat a commoner.
    TPR’s method of mud-slinging at and ensnaring its opponents is so reminiscent of the ways of the kudraks, pre-1959 and post 1959.
    Oh, yes Kudrak’s petty ensnaring of its opponents continued into post-1959 era as well.

    According to [Tibetans in Taiwan: 1949-2006]* by Tsering Choekyi, an article published in Contemporary Visions in Tibetan Studies, Proceedings from the First International Seminar of Young Tibetologists:

    “Two prominent early exiles to Taiwan were the ex-Tibetan cabinet ministers (kalon) Zurkhang and Yuthok. Because of some personal differences and rivalry with Tsipon Shakabpa, ……., these two kalon seem to have been deceived into seeking asylum and protection in Taiwan. They were used by the MTAC* to set up an alternative Tibetan government- in- exile in Taiwan, to discredit the Tibetan government- in- exile set up by HH the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in India………………..Later, Yuthok managed to escape from Taiwan on the pretext of a medical check-up and sought political asylum in Canada. Zurkhang remained and met a tragic death from opium overdose in old age……”

    * MTAC: Mongolian & Tibetan Affairs Commission

  8. I find you very honest and to the fact young man trying to grow well developed person in our society. I totally 110% agree with you that TPR is wearing mask, behind which nasty 3 JD’s cooking one sided propaganda. When I first found this Website I was very happy and excited to read its articles, when 1st what they said well analysis and balanced article for Dr. Lobsang la. I have to read two times to understand the real motive and nasty smearing of very well educated three JD’s. Shame on them…

  9. you are very outspoken and critical also but please don't use the word Tolerant since i don;t see any tolerance in you and Lobsang Sangay la being criticized by someone at all...
    lets see of you keep those comments criticizing you in your blog or your one thought would be to delete them for good.

  10. Tolerance does not mean saying nothing when someone does something objectionable.

    If you have followed my writings as well as what TPR writes, you will see my point. Regarding me being biased or not, of course I am biased, I am a supporter of Dr.Lobsang la, there is no secret about it. I write as an individual and as a blogger, expressing "my opinions".

    My objection with TPR is completely different. I criticize their pieces because they declare themselves as an unbiased platform and an unbiased medium of discussion. Their views are not individual opinion pieces like mine, but rather editorials by a group of people running a supposed independent journal. Cosidering all of their pieces are focussed on critiquing Dr.Lobsang Sangay, and the overall tone is anything else but unbiased, and yet they continue to call themselves an independent journal. The conflict lies in the confusion it creates among occasional webgoers.

    Regarding my writings, these are writings of an individual, his opinions and not an organisation purporting to be unbiased. I really do not need to explain all this, since the above piece is quite clear in itself. However, I decided to give you the courtesy of a response.

    Thanks for visiting this blog.Keep reading.

  11. You accept that you are biased because you support LS and that your's is a blog. How can a biased person call TPR biased? Isn't this kettle calling pot black?

    Anyway, what bias does TPR engage in? Is it because TPR asks strong questions or for which neither you nor LS provided any responses.

  12. Rinchen,

    You are absolutely right on TPR being biased. I have been reading all the pieces by their editorial board and the things they select and post on their website.
    Their strategy is similar to that of initial Mao's tactic. Provide free platform but will feed the masses with what the editorial wants the public to read and view.

  13. When we hold a view that Kudraks sold Tibet, or are enemies of our own people, we become unfortunately, ignorant and unread. Unfortuantely, in the early days or exile, such beliefs were perpetrated and allowed to develop into falsehoods. The very first commenter is a classic case of someone who suffers from lack of substatial evidence, to prove such a theory. So I think it does not do Tibetans any good to create baseless accusations amongst one another. I was one who beleived in such unfounded theories, but as I read books on Tibet in later years, I become clearer of the truth and history of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. I also find that we are not harmonous as a people, when we start name calling Kudraks, or refering to Khampas as non Tibetans, and suggesting Amdowas as Chinese influenced, or engaging in sectarian conflicts, and provincial distinctions. China had already laid designs on Tibet, early on to occupy Tibet since the Manchu period. Seventeen Point Agreement or not, Tibet was going to be occupied regardless of who ran the Government. Mao Zedong was bent on subjugating Tibet, and there was no stopping him, not even from our neighbours, or from Western Super Powers. We as a people, must not blame one another for this fall of our nation to the Commmunist Reds. In fact, many of our own common people in Tibet, welcomed the Chinese initially, jumping on the badwagon to build roads for their military expansion and occupation, only to regret it later. Let us not engage in needless, truthless accusations that only divide us, and unite as one people, to strengthen our bond for our unified fight for the Tibetan cause.

  14. Dr. Lobsang Sangay's wife is daughter of the Shakjang family, a Lhasa Kudrak household, just to put the record straight. In spite of this aristocratic connection, I welcome him as a modern and competent candidate for the post of our Katri.