Media, students and monarchy II

23 08 2020

The Bangkok Post reports on a backlash against the ultra-royalist Nation TV (warning: clicking the link opens rabid rant). Khaosod has a related report.

According to the Post, those rallying against the regime have mounted social media campaigns against the rabid ranting television broadcaster, calling out those businesses that advertise with them. It says the boycott of Nation TV and its advertisers began from deceptive reporting:

In this case, it started with a lapse of professional ethics by a journalist assigned by the pro-establishment TV station to cover the youth-led rally for political change at Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue last Sunday.

When she asked a demonstrator for an interview, the suspicious protester asked: “What news outlet are you from?”

Fearing she would be turned down given the pro-democracy tone of the demonstration, she lied, saying she came from a little-known news outlet.

The interview showed up later that day on the TV station of the well-known media group to the surprise, and then rage, of the interviewee who refused to keep quiet.

Reporting this as a “lapse” seems to downplay the fact that Nation TV regularly “reports” in biased and deceptive ways.

The parent Nation Multimedia Group defended deception by claiming “its reporters have in the past been intimidated, verbally abused and pressured by protesters at several rallies.” It attacked pro-democracy rally goers as “opponents” while fibbing that the station always reported the “facts”and criticizing them for “hate speech,” which is actually Nation TV’s brand.

The campaigners quickly circulated lists advertisers and these were widely shared: the companies and brands included Unilever, Osotspa, the CP Group, Central Group, Muang Thai Life and Foodpanda. Twitter users wanted companies to “acknowledge their Thailand branch is supporting dictatorship…”.

The quick outcome was that the “companies on the list have since issued statements denying involvement with the TV station and insisted they are politically neutral.” In the report it is stated that “only insurer Muang Thai Life said it would stop advertising with the group.”


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