Committee to Protect Journalists on Thailand’s media

8 05 2009

Shawn Crispin, writing for the CPJ (29 April 2009: “Media caught in the middle of Thai conflict”), has a number of interesting observations, noting that the media have become part and parcel of Thailand’s intensifying political conflict.”

He points out, as PPT has done also, that, “As the conflict escalates and the government reverts to crude censorship and veiled threats, all kinds of journalists here are bracing for what they fear could be an assault on their ability to neutrally gather and present the news, and a blow to press freedom.”

Crispin also refers to Democrat Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey who is making a name for himself as an enemy of media freedom, is said to have “established a [government] ‘war room’ and launched a ‘full scale’ information war to counter Thaksin’s claims carried in the foreign media. He went on to say that the government would soon identify certain foreign journalists who he alleged had backed Thaksin and damaged the country.” As Crsipin explains, foreign reporters in Thailand are “required to renew their visas and work permits annually and must submit copies of their recent journalism for Foreign Ministry scrutiny and approval. But even if the government steers clear of its threat to target certain foreign journalists, it’s nonetheless clear that the media will remain uncomfortably in the middle when reporting on Thailand’s polarizing and escalating conflict.”



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