role of different Media in Bangkok war – Updated on Apr 18
There are lies, damn lies, and The Nation…
Can you post this rubbish elsewhere?
– Thanong (Nation’s editor) in reply to critical comment on his blog
“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”
Humans have a natural proclivity to want what they cannot have.
(quote from: “Why Banning Social Media Often Backfires” )
This is an attempt to provide a comparison of 3 main kinds of Media in their coverage of current events in Thailand: Thai MSM (mainstream media), foreign Media and “alternative Media” (blogs, forums, social networks). of course I am sure there are many people who could do a much better job than me in this – I don’t pretend being any sort of a specialist, merely trying to share my own thoughts and what I have seen so far in this regard.
I just realized that my last blog post was more than a month ago, with update on Apr 10th, when first killing has started in “City of Angels” (Bangkok) of the “Land of Smiles” (Thailand). I was more active on Twitter, and those interested can read all the staff I find out there and retweet on my Twitter page : https://twitter.com/MediaWar because it is just TOO MUCH of an info to be able to regularly post in blog. Twitter is more convenient.also see those people whom I follow – they in turn also have others they follow, and so on. THIS is the best source of all information!
also please read those blogs in our blog roll, some of which have RSS links with their latest articles. all those blogs EXTENSIVELY cover all the Media censorship, bias, and much more. also I have included Twitter section here on blog, which is showing my latest tweets.
About local Thai Media
I guess the amount of information was too overwhelming to digest and produce some more or less fitting blog post. besides, the Thai Media bias is too blatant and discussed too widely thus making my own efforts (of exposing it on this blog) practically unnecessary: there are just TOO MANY people on internet, and even elsewhere (in communities, social groups, households, even on TV and of course on the main protesters’ stage) who constantly and variously, on all levels / in all aspects expose the open bias of Thai media. my favorite is this one, a paraphrasing of famous Mark Twain’s saying in relation to Thai Media:
There are lies, damn lies, and … The Nation
it has and still is being re-tweeted over and over again by many. 😀
another reporter replies to Nation’s reporter Tulsie on Twitter:
Honesty & The Nation is a tautology.
On Apr 23rd, when some bombs exploded at Silom Road, there was an incident when army pointed guns at police who tried to arrest pro-gov trouble makers:
Police caught yellowshirts throwing molotov cocktails, but soldiers set up defence line to let them escape, threatened police with guns.
One Thai TV reporter from Channel 3 who was there at the moment has given this information on Twitter. for that she got troubles from her bosses (was fired? but now seems re-instated). so, of course it is not at all enviable job for sincere and honest reporters to continue working in their heavily censored, seeing too many things yet forbidden to report the TRUTH !
Now though with army have openly announced the Ratchaprasong area in Central Bangkok as a “Live Fire zone”, and reportedly snipers shooting anyone on sight – practically ALL Thai reporters left the area completely.
german news reports that army are shooting at anybody trying to leave Rajprasong and go home...
because several reporters, both Thai & foreign, were shot, one of them even from Nation newspaper itself. people comment that army / gov doesn’t want any witnesses to killing, while motivating such step as effort to “prevent information distortion”. here is some funny tweet :
MICT blocks everything – including the toilets.
They’re heroes to the “A-hole” revolution.
However it is a desperate and useless attempt – because despite the TOTAL information blackout and very rigid censorship (what censorship – complete closure of ALL anti-gov website as well as even ANY more or less neutral, who dare to provide slightly different version of events from the “official truth”) foreign Media and especially netizens completely nullify the censorship of Thai gov, and bias of Thai Media.
I would not talk much about foreign Media, since there are too many easily found articles all over internet, even by leading world known agencies as BBC (its HardTalk with Abhisit was priceless – search for it on youtube !), CNN etc. but social networks and internet forums are worth noticable. sufficient to mention that most of foreign media doing a MUCH BETTER job than Thai MSM in presenting facts – which naturally causes outrage in Thai Media, gov and among those pro-gov supporters (so called “Multi-colored”).
UPDATE May 18th
MUST READ Excellent sarcastic “Open letter to foreign journalists” !
it is written in parody style similar to “Harrison George” (on Prachathai) or of “Not the Nation” website. 🙂 it is sort of trying to show the “logic” and reasoning used by all those people. for example after Abhisit’s total fiasco of answering BBC Hardtalk questions – Nation’s boss Yoon was furious and was seen on TV expressing his outrage and accusing BBC as being “not professional” – and who would say this but only not Nation, whose blatant bias and lies has already become LEGENDARY ! 😀 LOL
here is another fresh example: Nation’s senior editor Thanong in his “blog” is talking about “Propaganda war” by red-shirts (anti-gov protesters):
According to him, “Abhisit government is losing out in this propaganda war…” – wow, what a surprise, huh ? despite TOTAL most rigid control of media and ruthless censorship – somehow combined might of Thai gov. + military + Thai MSM (99% pro-gov) + ASTV/ Maganer (PAD’s media) – they ALL of them lose in unleashed by them PROPAGANDA WAR ? this is simply hilarious ! 🙂
Read comments there too – despite Thanong rigidly censoring out comments he doesn’t like, there are still more than enough people who instantly point out his obvious bias and fallacies. notice that particularly Thanong is upset with Alternative media (all the blogs, Forums, social networks, etc) – and rightly so, because they EXPOSE Nation’s LIES ! 🙂
especially I like Comment #18 :
the bottom line is that there can never be a peace and a healing of wounds whilst the cloud of lies surrounding these issues exist. As long as people like Thanong (the blog government spokesman) can tell people like Tom Finn to go away (A spokesman for reason), We will never see the truth in Thailand.
The Thai Government may say the foreign press is biased, they may say it does not understand Thailand, they say it listens only to the red shirt propaganda. This is a comforting viewpoint for the government, but it is totally false. The foreign media poured scorn on the war on terror, the Iraq weapons of mass destruction, they attack Obama, the EU, the financial crisis, now they pour scorn on the Thai government and its lame dog army. What the Thai government really means is that it is helpless to control the foreign media the way it controls its domestic media. As a result the unpleasant truth continues to leak out.
so, Thai MSM manages not only to lie professionally, but also launch heavy counter-offensive against all those who criticize it or those who provide even slightly different version of information than what Thai MSM have.
strong dislike of Nation/ Thanong of ANY critical (of gov) info clearly displayed in his reply to 1st comment, where author merely as posted some quotes from Amnesty International condemning shooting people, he replies furiously (Comment #2) : “Can you post this rubbish elsewhere?” RUBBISH ! this is what Nation calls something which is true.
so, no wonder they are so angry with foreign & alternative media !
Twitter, Facebook, SpringNewsTV.TV, TPBS, TNN, Prachatai, ThaiENews have replaced Ch. 3, Ch. 5, Ch. 7, Ch. 9, Ch. 11 [Thai TV channels]
….as the relevant news authority. Network owners need to wake up and understand that they need to cover the ongoing war in Bangkok
Please help pass on my twitter to FaceBook and all media. The time for inactivity has ended. Action is required to end the state of war.
This year around, comparing to last year (Black Songkran events) UDD protesters have learned hard lesson of importance of media and timely communication. they have a whole team of people whose full job is conveying information to world community of internet users. also they have at least one official English speaking person named Sean who deals with international media – he already appeared on Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC etc. besides, there are just TOO MANY to count volunteers (often called “cyber warriors“) who are now able to make a good use of Twitter, Facebook, youtube, image hosting websites – and there are literally tons of materials all over internet. so much that gov’s MICT simply can’t possibly block them all. there are a lot of Thai people who lives abroad and participate in all those discussions and sharing of information, as well as relaying information. UDD has also live video streaming on internet, and so far despite all the attempts by gov to block each and every website which broadcasts their video – many more appear daily, as well as many people have learned well how to use proxies and all sorts of gadgets and software to go around all that censorship.
initially pro-government supporters (the so called “No color” or “multicolor” – in fact rebranded former yellow shirts aka PAD) have unleashed their own counter offensive on internet. here one article on Prachathai website (by the way, now it is also blocked by MICT) reported :
(read comments there as well – it is worth noticing that in the West Facebook is considered as something like “forum for socially dysfunctional people“). but eventually I guess they couldn’t continue their online domination due to too many people trying to find the facts. or another very likely possibility that it was rather a disinformation by PAD / gov that “silent majority” (as they love to call it) express their disapproval of red-shirts on internet.
well, of course, as during famous “Twitter revolution” in Iran 1 year ago, it must be noticed, that those who actually have time and means to be able to afford actively participate in all such internet Forums and social networking systems – are mostly predominately urban middle or high middle class. while actually most of rural people, especially farmers, can not even afford to buy a computer – what to speak pay a monthly bill for High speed internet (ADSL) – or even basic skills / education as well as very TIME to be able to rage all over internet, as all those PAD and gov supporters can do ! therefore it is not surprising at all that they “wing Facebook war”
but hey, Facebook is not the only place – rather it is just a tiny part of whole internet ! and beyond FB there are just SO MANY new blogs have appeared during past few months. even foreigners who merely visiting Thailand or temporarily staying here often decide to write on what they have seen, or share the photos they taken.
again, read all those blogs (see on the right), for last 1 month at least, and you will get some idea of how is it. SO MANY people participate in discussion !
I think it should be pointed out that : many Thai language Forums such as Pantip & Prachathai often have the most fresh updates, and often info which is NOT being shown in both local Thai and Western Medias. I guess there are many Thai people out there, who are just curious, they go out and watch, record, listen – and then share their info on-line. Also I suspect very much that there are many Thai reporters who being unable (forbidden) to provide true facts in their official reports, choose to share that info on-line. there are also many soldiers, police, officials who also use advantage of internet anonymity and provide info, opinions and analysis on net.
in fact, yesterday it was mentioned that Pantip website (as I heard – its owner is actually some yellow-shirt person) has decided to close its most active Ratchadamnoen room (one web-board section) – where usually the most latest information, photos and videos are shared. or perhaps it was ordered to be closed …
as I was typing this post, I see that there are 120 new Tweets in my timeline on Twitter ! and I just follow merely 57 people. Twitter is one of place to seek information nowadays. even the miserable Thai Demo-crap PM Abhish1t has acknowledged in his TV address yesterday that “social networks become trouble” :
Abhisit said that the social media is a problem for Thailand: guess he’s sorry he can’t stop pictures of state sanctioned murder circulating.
one thing is interesting though : when it was the so called “Twitter Revolution” in Iran last year (June 2009), there was a HUGE support all over internet by Western people. however this time there is no such support for Thai pro-democracy protesters – even though they are being shot by snipers in cold blood. perhaps this shows that international public is also quite biased ? when it comes to Iran, alleged “rogue state” – there is almost instant outrage at ruthless suppression of protesters. but in regards to Thailand, which has been known as “Land of Smiles”, tourist paradise and staunch ally of US in the region – international public is not as much outraged, even though RIGHT NOW what is happening in Thailand is no better than that time in Iran. many also compare it with Burma (Myanmar), saying that Thailand has finally shown its true face – same brutal military regime as Myanmar junta. only covered by posh malls, luxurious hotels and some elaborate imposed impression of developing democracy.
P.S. 200 new tweets by the time I finished typing this post ! have a lot to read now. so, I guess I am back to being inactive in blogging, but instead to being active on Twitter ! 🙂
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