How the Thai press covered the latest mass bombings

This week saw one of the largest waves of bombings in the deep south stretching again into three districts of Songkhla. This wave of bombings was lightly reported in the Thai-language press, not rating a front-page headline in most of the dailies.

The disinterest in the Thai-language press comes in the face of stories more interesting to the Thai public, such as the recovery of Thai King after surgery and the crash involving vehicles in the Prime Minister's motorcade. That "bandits" or "bad guys" continue to disrupt life in the deep south is not as interesting to the public after three years.

The lighter coverage in the Thai press translates to lighter coverage in the English-language Thai press as well. The English-language dailies largely base their coverage on watered-down versions of stories in the Thai-language press. Thai-language articles are converted to versions relevant and understandable to a Westernized audience. In the process many details are omitted.

This means even sparser coverage in the international press. Stories on Thailand in the international press are created by rewriting material from the Bangkok Post and the Nation and adding some background material. This is how the latest widespread demonstration of violence in the Thai deep south was hardly noticed outside of Thailand.

Above: Komchadluek, August 2 - The headline reads: Turmoil in the four southern provinces - Burning a rubber factory - Shooting - Bombing expands to Songkhla (Province)

Left: Krungtep Turakit, August 2 (back page) - Article title on the bottom left: Bad guys create turmoil in the South - Burn more than 70 spots and bomb houses

Right: Thai Rath, August 3, 2006 - The bottom half of the front page features prominent photos of the wrecked cars in Thaksin's motorcade

Vehicles in Thai premier's motorcade crash, injuring 3; PM unharmed - The Star Online, August 2, 2006
Two vehicles traveling in Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's convoy crashed with a passenger car Wednesday, injuring two security officials and a civilian, police said. The prime minister was unharmed...
[And note the unflattering photo from The Nation of Thaksin explaining the event.]


Left: Komchadluek, August 3, 2006 - The headline reads: Turmoil overnight - Bombing train tracks - 3 officers dead and one seriously injured - Even a medical team luckily escaped injury

At the top right is a photo of a wrecked vehicle from Thaksin's motorcade.

Right: Krungtep Turakit, August 2 (back page) -The article title on the bottom half of the page reads: 4th army sums up the 118 spots (that were attacked) - Rubber factory burned

The main photo is of a police petrol truck that was attacked in the deep south.

Left: Phujatkan, August 3 - Photo of the Thaksin motorcade crash
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