Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

call for “facts checking” and truth finding in Thai MSM

previously we’ve  already mentioned about the “facts checking” (or rather the ABSENCE  of it) by Thai MSM  in regards to the matter of whether PM Abhisit was in the car when protesters allegedly attacked it or not. Abhisit and  most of Thai MSM  lately deny Jatuporn’s claim that  Abhisit wasn’t in the car and the whole “attack” was a very well set up show by gov. and army.  although  on Apr 12 there were several articles with reference to Thai PBS (TV channel)  which plainly and clearly said that he left  the site well before the incident.

now in this regard there has been some sort of development.  apparently there is some progress in Thai media after all  –  Thai reporters call for “facts checking” !

Fact checking

If the media are so certain that the allegation is false, should they still report it to the public?.. To media rights activist Supinya Klangnarong, reporters have a right to voice doubt over the allegation. However, as long as the incident remains in the public domain, the media have no right to infringe upon the public’s rights to access of information. Supinya said the media should truthfully report to the public without any filtration. However, this is a more sensitive issue because the allegation is not only an expression of one opinion, but there is a claim of “fact”.

It is thus the duty of the media to make the truth known.

“As the government is also involved in the case, media organisations are the only outlets through which the truth can be made known to the public,” Supinya said.  And after the truth is brought out, the media has the right to state whether the incident was a political game or not, Supinya added.

Journalism lecturer Pirongrong Ramasoota of Chulalongkorn University agreed with Supinya, saying the media’s duty is to present the facts to the public. However, to judge whether an opinion is true or not is not the media’s task, but one for the public. “The public use the media as a vehicle to access the truth,” Pirongrong said.

However, to Surat Maetheekul, a former Thammasat University journalism lecturer, this serious social rift only demonstrates the fact the media must exercise caution in reporting to the public. The media, Surat added, should remind themselves that the “facts” of this case, mostly taken from key members of the anti-government group and a figure in the government, were not the whole facts.

The media should report with thoughtfulness and be careful not to be used as a tool in this information war,” said Surat.

Although there is no final consensus on the issue, one thing can be concluded:

That the media should not let their concerns or their own judgements either consciously or subconsciously cause them to manipulate the “fact”. Their duty is not to judge but to present evidence for opinion making on the part of the public.

well, finally someone is talking sense  in Thailand.  although it still remains a big doubt: whether Thai reporters would bother with these advises.

meanwhile they are  still  alienated to the  large portion of Thai people due to they such BIAS and often even too blatant partisanship.

one example:   yesterday during one news report  on Nation channel (TTV)  few young looking journos  were chatting about current affair, and  one of them said something like :

“nowadays farmers don’t have to bother growing rice – they can make money by being paid to attend rallies. they go to Government house and stay there like buffaloes…”

I heard him use this word “kwai” (buffalo in Thai) at least twice – which is  equivalent for  saying “stupid”  or “moron” in Thai and is considered as quite derogatory, practically insult.

So,  these are REPORTERS  who  are talking on national TV,  program which might be seen  by millions of people !  and they insult their fellow Thai people as being dumb as buffaloes, and  making ALLEGATIONS that the protesters  are  attending rallies  ONLY because they are being PAID (well, the favorite subject of Thai Yellow media – that Thaksin pays everybody left and right to stir the social unrest).

WHERE are their FACTS CHECKING, huh?  perhaps  author of this article on Nation THAWEEPORN KUMMETHA, or those lecturers quoted – Supinya and Surat – should  talk to those  Nation Channel  journos and  TEACH them some manners – to explain to them the necessity of FACTS CHECKING before  they say such things on national TV !

here is another example by Nation’s notorious reporter Sopon in his today’s  opinion :

Outside the House, Abhisit continues to find the red-shirt movement like a monkey on his back, a throbbing pain in the neck, so to speak. Yesterday a few hundred red-shirted hecklers staged a noisy protest in front of the House, demanding constitutional amendment on their terms.  Some of them were close to exchanging blows with Buddhist monks who were there to voice demands as well.

well, I guess  “heckler”  is  somewhat “polite”  comparing to “buffalo”.

(to heckle –  To torment with persistent insult or ridicule)

but still,  Sopon’s PARTISANSHIP and bias is too evident.  I bet he  restrains himself to max  in using the least  derogatory words.  he  blatantly takes sides and doesn’t bother to disguises his own  despise of the protesters  – although  as those ajarns (quoted in the article above) said – media should ONLY present facts !

this is the reporter on the SAME Nation newspaper as  the above article by  Thaweeporn.

I agree though with  author and those 2 ajarns  (good to see that at least SOME ajarns  have conscience after all, and intellectual honesty)  that  it is NOT media’s  business to impose its own opinion, but ONLY to present  FACTS  and let the  public decide what is the TRUTH !  and of course  to be able to present FACTS at all – Thai MSM first of all have to start doing their job properly and FIND those FACTS, not  seat in their offices and  copy an paste the  PR press-releases by gov. and politicians,  or add to rumors !

this however  is very unlikely to happen.

Fonzi adds on his blog :

Maybe Thanong, Tulsie, Sia Yoon and Sopon should read their own newspaper.  They consistently mistake their own personal opinions as fact or think facts are irrelevent to their conspiracy theories masked as anaysis.  It should be fairly easy to find out what is the truth.   Arrest the people who attacked the car– which was a heinous crime, even possibly a assassination attempt– and identify them as either Red Shirts or government agents.

he is right, and of course so far we don’t see ANYONE being arrested, even though Abhisit said to foreign media “they were after my life”.

well, Ok – shouldn’t then be some efforts to PUNISH the  alleged “assassins” ?  😉

instead the ONLY thing we see so far is – the RUMORS and speculations by worthless Thai media.


May 19, 2009 - Posted by | Thai MSM | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. […] long time already. At the same time, Thai MSM has been repeatedly exposed as biased and extensively criticized, some of them even expressing their own doubts and disappointment at how they report […]

    Pingback by Role of Thai MSM in social unrest; govt curbs opposition media « Media War | April 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] earlier there was  a discussion about  “Facts checking”  on Nation and we blogged about it […]

    Pingback by “Facts checking” with Suthep « Media war | May 26, 2009 | Reply

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