Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Thai media on “New Media

Media War is now raging  well beyond the bounderies of  conventional  or mainstream media.  Now it spills into  new areas – what Thai  politicians call the “New Media”.

There is fresh article  reflecting  opinion of  senator Rosana (reported staunch PAD supporter) :   Most new media outlets spread toxic misinformation: Rosana

Thai people had little need for multiple media outlets such as cable TV and websites since most spread misinformation, which caused bigger social division, Bangkok Senator Rosana Tositakul said yesterday.  “Do we really need so many media channels? And how could we control a large number of media channels, anyway?

Rosana asked at a seminar entitled

“How to Reform the New Media”

held by Thammasat University’s Faculty of Journalism and Communications. Rosana said media reports about misinformation incited hatred, so the media should report with more conscience.  “Misinformation is like toxic food that causes damage to the viewer’s brain,” Rosana said.

also here :  Thai senator stunned by ‘new media’

Adisak Limparungpattanakit, who heads the Satellite Television Association of Thailand, said impossible to control media content or to prevent the existence of new media.

“The lawmakers always want to control the media. However, they can never catch up with the new technology,” he said.

Unlike the senator, he saw some opportunity in that. He said the government should not only ease off on trying to control the media, but should actively help people across the country get access to it. It should also encourage outlets to produce more good content and forget about blocking “bad” content.

New media, broadly defined as comprising blogs, web boards, and cable and Internet radio and TV, have been enthusiastically received by the masses in most of the developed worldBut they remain a source of ongoing consternation in Thailand where an onslaught of ‘toxic’, or ‘viral’, opinions, often presented as fact, are seen by successive governments as exacerbating the country’s social and cultural divisions.

so,  Thai  establishment apparently si very concerned about  the alternative media sources  – blog,s websites, forums, on-line TV and radio –  which it calls “New Media”.

in fact they are so much concerned that they even organise SEMINARS  with attempt to tackle this issue, which they see as a problem.  “Reform”  actually means – control, as I can understand it.   reactionary  elite and  establishment  realize that they are losing the  grip  on the leash  to control the information  and people’s minds and undermine or even stop the Insurrection of subjugated knowledge”  efforts.

Establishment desperately tries to  achieve what Ellul  described  as “Total propaganda”  in his book “Propaganda“. although that time when he was writing his book there was no yet internet (well, at least in its very broad and global universal usage as today), nor blogs or  Forums – in other words, no “New Media”  which very emergence was as an alternative to  the mainstream media (MSM).  However the  idea is the same :   that to be sucessful Propaganda  has to have full control over ALL  media,  whether old or new.  That is why I guess  there are these serious endeavors by Thai  ruling class to  find the ways to control the “New Media” or at least to contain and counteract it.  Or perhaps more precisely the task of  “How to Reform New Media”  should be understood as  “How to integrate New Media into our Propaganda system”. Of course for thatall of those who represent and are sources of “New Media”  have to be “converted”  or  “remormed”  (or “re-educated”  – word more commonly used by Thai establishment and even PAD reactionaries).

below are some exerpts from book by Jacques Ellul, the part about  Total Propaganda (from Chapter 1: “The Characteristics of Propaganda“). notice the paragraph highlighted in green which I think corresponds to the  “Reform”  issue  mentioned in the above quoted article.

Total Propaganda

Propaganda must be totalPropagandist must utilize all of the technical means at his disposal – the perss, radio, TV, movies, posters, meetings, door-to-door canvassing. Modern propaganda must utilize all of these media…  To draw the individual into the net of propaganda, each technique must be utilized in its own specific way, directed toward producing the effect it can best produce, and fused with all the other media, each of them reashing the individual in a specific fashion and making him react anew to the same theme – in the same direction but differently. Thus one leaves no part of intellectual or emotional life alone, man is surrounded on all sides … It is a matter of reaching and encircling the whole man and all men. Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to actionPropaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence… This explains the totalitarian attitude that the individual adopts … and that simply reflects the totalitarian action of propaganda on him…

Propaganda can not be satisfied with partial sucess, for it does not tolerate discussion; by its very nature, it excludes contradiction and discussion… It must produce quasi-unanimity, and the opposing faction must become negligible, or in any case cease to be vocal. Etreme propaganda must win over the adversary and at least use him by integrating him into its own frame of reference.

the ultimate was achieved by Soviet propaganda in the self-critisism of its opponents. That the enemy of the regime (or of faction in power) can be made to declare, while he is still the enemy, that the regime is right, that his opposition was criminal and that his condemnation is justthat is the ultimate result of totalitatian propaganda. The enemy (while still remaining the enemy, and because he is the enemy) is converted into supporter of the regime.

total, all-devouring propaganda mechanism in action: it can not leave any segment of opinion outside its sphere; it can not tolerate any sort of independence…  Alongside the mass media of communication propaganda employs censorhip, legal texts, proposed legislation, international conferences, and so forth  – thus introducing elements seemingly alien to propaganda. We should not only consider the mass media … Finally propaganda will take over literature (present and past) and history, which must be re-written according to propaganda’s needs.

PPT  blog  too has a comment on this article  :

PPT has recently been critical of the mainstream media and even more critical of the Democrat-led government’s attempts to limit freedom of expression and especially new media.  Now Bangkok senator and consumer rights activist Rosana Tositakul has come out to apparently support tighter control on the media…

While PPT might agree that there has been some pretty horrendous reporting of recent Thai politics, this is a trait of the mainstream media as well. In recent days, the mainstream media has become rather too bland in its reporting of political news, apparently in the interests of “national reconciliation.

But PPT deplores any attempt or suggestion to limit access to the media, mainstream or new.  Senator Rosana, as a leading member of important civil society organizations, should know better than to line up with hierarchical, repressive and conservative elements in Thai society.


May 23, 2009 - Posted by | Media Control, Thai MSM | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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