Never ending story: State and Media

12 03 2007

Who has control over state or media? Normally we hear the media complain of the state control over their news reports. Well well well, but it is the opposite here in Thailand. State officials seem to follow advice from the media, especially when such advice come from Manager owned by a media tycoon Sodhi Limthongkul.

How many times since the victory of the military over democracy in Thailand that we hear of the government following Sondhi’s advice in making decision on key issues and how many times his advice has complicated the image and the policies of the government. His harsh comment and anti-posture towards former deputy and finance minister M.R. Pridiyathorn Devakula had led to the latter resignation after intensive exhange of words. More recent example can be seen in the way the government handles PTV and itv. If ASTV can air their programmes, why not PTV. Does he really know everything when he says he is there to reveal everything about the previous government’s corruption plan? I think may be we should raise one simple question – what is for him to gain and who has been his main supporter when he and his People’s Alliance for Democracy (PDA) led street protest to chase Thaksin out of the country?

It is fair to say that since the military took power, the current govenrment has paid too much attention in what the media say. They have measured their policy and response according to the media and the public sentiment. It should be good news for the Thais if their government listen to people’s voice and not only to the Manager and its related affiliation.



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