Journalism: 2) With Thai Cambodia relations boiling, Thai press needs “Fact Check Service”

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by Tammy, Thai Intel’s humanity journalist

During the height of the Thai Cambodia relationship difficulties a few years back, I opened up the newspaper one morning, and found that every Thai newspaper had reported that Cambodia artillery opened fired on Thai territory, the night before, damaging schools and houses.

The report said Thailand’s army fired its artillery back at the aggressor, in defense of Thailand.

The only problem, was that a foreign news service, reported the incident differently. The foreign news service, Al Jazeera, said their journalist went to camp with Thai artillery soldiers. And that night, Cambodia fired flairs into the sky, lighting up the sky to see what was going on. The Al Jazeera journalist reported, that those flairs, caused Thai artillery positions, to open fire on Cambodia.

Clearly, according to Al Jazeera, Thailand opened fire first. Who is right? In situation like this, in countries with more advance journalist industry, there is the fact check service.

The above, incident, of how Thai and foreign journalist report news about Thai and Cambodia situation differently is understandable. Thai journalist, when it comes to National Security, takes about 99% of their reports straight from the Thai military‘s mouth.

Why?

Well, there is the well known Thai Nationalism, where ever since the 2006 coup, have gripped most Thai news organizations, into being far extreme right wing. I mean is there any doubt, that the Bangkok Post and Nation, the two English language newspaper here in Thailand are extreme right wing?

Even Thaksin said, Bangkok Post and Nation, are against him.

So currently, the Thai and Cambodia situation has reached the litigation stage at the International Court of Justice . What does that mean? Well it means, in the litigation stage, there is lots of sensitive complicated  statements and facts appearing.

The question is, can the Thai press, both Thai and English language, remain above their far extreme right Nationalist tendencies, and report, just the facts and statements that are made?

The answer is clearly, only an insane person would rely on the likes of Bangkok Post and the Nation, to mention a few of the Thai press, to report the facts, with neutrality. The fact is, the likes of Bangkok Post and the Nation, are expected to twist, the current Thai Cambodia problem, to attack Thaksin and Yingluck.

What Thailand needs, is a fact check service.

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