Thai press lacks professionalism - 'Constructive news
always overlooked' - Bangkok
Post, June 26, 2005
The Thai press creates a bad image of Thailand for
the rest of the world by focusing more on the negatives
rather than the positives, said Deputy Prime Minister
Speaking at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of
the Confederation of Thai Journalists on Friday, Mr
Surakiart said the press in general needed to promote
constructive activities rather than critical news and
analysis. ``Foreign newspapers carry news that projects
both the good and bad, but for Thai media the negatives
outweigh the positives,'' said the former foreign affairs
Mr Surakiart said that throughout his time as foreign
minister Thailand was involved in various international
projects, held numerous seminars and acted as a mediator
for countries in conflict.
But, he said, the Thai media overlooked those accomplishments
and instead dwelled on rumours of the government's failures
in organising the proceedings.
" In countries with press freedom like the Philippines,
the US and countries in Europe, they [the media] all
carry more constructive news than ours,'' he said.
" Foreign media on some occasions praised Thailand
for a job well done but the Thai media did not even
report on the events,'' he said.
Mr Surakiart, who is also running for the United Nations
secretary-general's post, said various embassies translate
Thai newspapers into their mother tongue and the negative
reporting hurt the country's image. The deputy prime
minister also accused the Thai media of being inaccurate
and sensational, and said there was a low level of professionalism
in Thai journalism.
"Facts need to be correct before an analysis is
made,'' he said.
The Thai media, said Mr Surakiart, did not know what
"off the record'' meant and therefore could not
be trusted with some important tactical information.
growing over media control
- The Nation, June 25, 2005
...Earlier yesterday, the Faculty of Communication
Arts held its annual seminar on the state of Thai media
freedom, referring to the present era as a dark time
for press freedom and urged media reforms to be put
on the national agenda.
Prasong Lertrattanawisut, the deputy managing editor
of the Matichon newspaper, said Thaksin has become efficient
and systematic in controlling the Thai media. Everyone
will have to question [the current state of press freedom]
with reason, he said, referring to the governments
alleged indirect control of media outlets through shareholders,
advertisements and other means.
What we are facing now may best be described as
manufactured consent, said Pit Pongsawat,
a political scientist from Chulalongkorn University.
It makes us think of small issues as big issues
and big issues as small issues.
Chaiyan Chiyaporn, another Chulalongkorn political scientist,
alleged that the Thaksin administration hired a large
number of students to scrutinise various websites and
respond with counter attacks to those criticising the
Another method used to control the social agenda is
manufacturing news to occupy the publics imagination
and distract the public from important issues affecting
the government, said Ruj Komolbutr, a lecturer in journalism
at Thammasat University.
'A tale of two newspapers'