Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Thai Media gets the hint

here is pretty good article which appeared on … Nation !   surprise, huh?

it is quite self critical actually ! worht reading at least for the sake of obvserving slow change in Thai journalism.

Resentment lingers among the poor over 2006 coup

… deep angst and sense of injustice and class exploitation is what most Thai media have failed or simply refused to recognise. To them Thaksin is too much of an evil and a threat and so the 100,000 reds who came out to the streets on April 8 must be a paid mob, ignorant poor who have no clue whatsoever what democracy is.

Well, would anyone be willing to confront deadly weapons, tanks, and risk death for Bt500 or even Bt5,000 a day, especially on Songkran day?

The fact is, when Privy Council President Gen Prem Tinsulanonda was accused by Thaksin earlier this month for being the master-mind behind of the September 2006 coup, a long-standing taboo was broken. The Pandora’s box of class consciousness and class exploitation has been opened and Thailand entered an uncharted political terrain.

It matters little that the Thai mainstream media cannot or are not willing to risk discussing the mass’ perceived role of the palace in politics due to lese majeste law. Because many Red shirts have been doing that on the radio, online, on the streets, in their homes very blatantly over the past three or so years. The red shirts’ media may face a crackdown with D Station off air, community radio stations silenced and, as of yester-day, raids on red shirt radio sta-tions in Chiang Mai and Lampang.

On the Internet, it’s a cat and mouse game as new sites appear almost as quickly as old red sites are blocked. The mighty state can-not hope to forever shut these people’s minds and eliminate their doubts about the elite any longer. As one red said after the defeat to this writer: “They have defeated us but not won our hearts.”

The taboo, censorship and patronising attitudes towards the Red shirts – the situation is like a patient suffering from a nail lodged in his forehead but with a doctor who only wants to discuss the blood and bruising, and not the nail itself.

The Red shirts have lost trust in the government, the state and most of the Thai media. It’s just a matter of time before they rise again to challenge the old elite’s control over Thai politics – with or without Thaksin. The seeds of class consciousness and class exploitation have been planted and are growing despite the defeat on Tuesday, which is likely only to be a lost battle in a continuing protracted war.

This seems to be surrealistic – coming from a Thai reporter !  🙂    Standing ovation !  it is a good start.

I think it would be fair to mention another article on Bkk Post earlier, day before the Mass Protest by UDD started on Wed Apr 8th.

Now, this kind of journalism may actually HELP to heal the social  warts and ugly leprosy.

If only  more people could  grasp it smeaning  and especially if Thai media and government would have taking into serious consideration the importance of these written by Atiya words – perhaps  all the  mess  in Bkk in recent days could be avoided. Many points are similar to previous article.

Looking for signs of progress

One need not be a supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra to feel the presence of the new possibilities. And messy though it seems, open debate is a sign of progress in a democracy…

Still, one must also be mature enough to differentiate between principles and the individual. One can agree with some of what Thaksin is saying without having to support his political fight, for example.

As the political contest threatens to come to a head this week, the authorities’ reaction is more crucial than ever. If they look at the Red march and see only blind lovers of Thaksin or paid protesters, they would miss a chance to steer the conflict in a direction where constructive resolution, not just a dead end, could be possible.

Tolerance, I think, is the key. There is no need to be fearful and to try to suppress or prosecute people who think differently. Doing so would further polarise the public and re-create the dangerous paranoia of the ’70s with its disastrous outcomes. Instead of lumping everyone who embraces freedom of expression and accountability into the Red camp, the government and relevant authorities would do better by engaging these people.

Instead of trying to gag differences of opinion or suppress ones that are viewed as sensitive, it might be a better idea to try to open things up. Give public space or forums for people from various backgrounds and political ideologies to express their ideas. That way, we can probably find a new agenda for the country that goes beyond the current conflict of personalities, that is capable of accommodating the vision and dreams of the majority of the people.

Ultimately, it will not be Thaksin and Co who are able to paint the whole town red. It will be the continued suppression of a desire for change and free flow of information and ideas that will.

once again – Standing  ovation !  very wise words.

Hopefully at least now, after Black Songrkan,  people will think about it and start to realize the meaining of these words.


April 18, 2009 - Posted by | Thai MSM | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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