Journalism: Thai press “Propaganda” coverage of Thai election

Thai Rath front page, 31 December 2006

Image via Wikipedia

  • By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist

When Freedom House, recently rated the Thai press as “Not-Free” there was absolutely no ripple in the Thai press community (picture above is the anti-democracy, liberty and justice mass circulated daily Thai Rath).

The problem is that Thailand is in an election mode, and many are wondering about the impact of Thai press on the Thai election.

Many are asking, “How can the Thai press, rated not-free, cover the election with objectivity and fairness?”

Obviously, the answer is that the Thai press do not know how to be objective, fair and just. Thus their coverage of the Thai election is clearly, nothing much more than “propaganda.”

But the real question, is how much impact does the Thai press have, on the Thai election?

Thai Intel does not have a clue.

But one thing is certain, at the high-end condo project I live at, there are 200-300 units, and in the morning, there are 2 copies of the Bangkok Post, 1 copy of Manager, and 1 copy of Nation-meaning that is it, for the entire building as far as subscriber goes.

Thai Intel have always maintained, that “One can get fooled now and then, but in the medium to long-term, people wise up.” And in this case, at least at the condo project I live at, both Thais and foreigners have wised up to the fact that the Thai media is nothing much more than propaganda-as very few follows them.

Then secondly, I have lived at this condo project for about 5 years now, and I kid Thai Intel readers not, in that I have run into people right and left who knows about Thailand, in its reality.

This understanding of the reality of Thailand is extremely deep. There is not lying to them what is going on, and no amount of Bangkok Post, Nation and Manager propaganda will change anything-as I never had a conversation with anyone who said, for example, Bangkok Post said this and that.

Who they vote for is not the point here, some are anti-democracy while others support democracy-but the point is that, the Thai press have very much failed to keep up and keep in tab with their readership base.

Why is the Thai press like that?

Well, take the Bangkok Post, just go to its website and check out the board of directors, and then go to the Thai election unit to check out who donated money to the democrat party. Then as a former big shot journalist at the Bangkok Post, I will testify in any court that there is no “Chinese Wall” between the editorial department and the management.

Then what can be said about the Nation, Manager, Thai Rath and the rest, except by now, if one does not know one is reading crappy propaganda of the royalist, elite and military rulers of Thailand-then that person deserves all the crap he gets.

But Freedom House rating, the Thai media as “Not Free” is interesting, in that, it noted that so so many of Thai press have been shut down, and mostly, Thai Intel will add, that those shut down, are the voice of democracy, liberty and justice.

Meanwhile, 99% of Thai television and radio is controlled by the government and military.

What is the bottom-line to all of this?

Well, it is interesting, apart from the Thai media loosing just about 100% of its credibility and only serve up propaganda for consumers that likes propaganda, the bottom line is that many Thai and foreigners, well at the condo project I live at, are forming their own opinion about things-and heading to independent blogs.

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