From itv to Titv

8 03 2007

Is the different in name matter? Is it not more worrying that the state has more control of media now than ever?

Two days ago when it was annouced that itv or Independent Television was allowed to air their programme until midnight of 7th March, there was a mix feeling. Legally itv should be terminated. Emotionally, it should be terminated also as it was owned by the old power cliques and located in Shinnawatra Building III which was a property of the former PM Thaksin. To eradicate Thaksin regime completely of Thai society we must then abolish itv which is owned by him, otherwise he could use the revenue for his political activities outside the country. However, I remember how I argued with my father over the issue that it was rather unfair for staffs to be left unemployed over a night especially when earlier Prime Minister Surayud promised to take care of them. Then he said it was a fair and just decision. The management of itv should take care of their staffs and not the government. Their management team have resigned one by one after the chance of winning the case appeared to be zero or to be frank right after there was no chance of Thaksin to come back to Thai politics. When i think about it, i later accepted my father’s explanation.

Most of the staffs complained and put the blame on the Prime Minister. However, when the administrative ruled that itv can still air their programme but under different name and from a different base, itv staffs praised the PM. It is naturally that you praise people who make a good offer and balme people who do not allow you to do whatever you like.

The latest ruling has helped to shore up the image of the PM a great deal and it makes me wonder if this has been done purposely. The government just tasted the ground how the people would respond. Since itv got a lot of support and sympathy from the public, the government overturned the decision and allow it to operate, though under a different name and location.

itv is changed to TITV or Thailand Independent Television and is relocated Channel 11 television station on Petchburi Road. Channel 11 is owned by the state but claimed to have enough sophisticated equipments to carry out most of itv programmes. But this would mean more control of the state over the media. The future programmes will have to be re-desinged and also to re-discuss with the state in order to get their approval.

itv seemed to have good quality journalist and reporters. Their social analysis and programme activities reached the grassroot people in time of need. However, they had enjoyed their privilege status under Thaksin regime and some people still remember that. The way ahead is a rocky one for itv / TITV station and also for the staffs.


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