When you read the title of this entry it can both provoke anger and curiosity. But if you read into it and connect all the dots, you will start to see an encouraging shift towards more responsible journalism. The reason for this is some Thai journalists seem more interested in provoking a reaction than to presenting balanced reporting of the news.
What is reported in the news in Thailand, more often than not it has a strong political spin, and more often than not (it seems) just out and out false stories. In the US, UK and other western countries where decisions are made on facts, false news stories can quickly get your pen and keyboard taken away from you as serious negative consequences often result in false news reporting.
A lot of the Thai language media seems driven by politics and not so much of reporting the facts. So it is no wonder that the Thai Government has put the Thai media on notice and more than a slap on the wrist will be administered if the media is deemed to be stirring the pot of political unrest.
At first glance, on the outside it looks like a dictator clamping down on the Thai media. However all the Thai Government is doing is forcing the Thai media to act more like their western cousins and toe the line of professionalism and not be just ever so slightly above tabloid journalism and sensationalism.
The root of much of Thailand’s political turmoil comes from deliberately misleading lesser educated Thais with a series of lies designed to empower criminals and push out politicians who show moral and ethical behavior. So that is another reason why the Thai media needs to have a moral and ethical compass as well to counter criminal efforts and expose lies by very simply connecting the dots.
Some restrictions on the media are being imposed, but then again that is nothing new. In the US Supreme court cameras are not permitted and only artist sketches provide some visual connection as to what is going on. So to impose similar restrictions with some Thai Government proceedings is not unusual.
As for Thailand’s Les Majeste laws, they can be both friend and foe to journalists. Keeping the Royal family above politics is a very good thing as it provides a sense of a higher authority. To drag a member of the royal family into the political fray serves no purpose except to cause trouble for someone. The same goes for trying to elevate some politicians to the level of royalty, it just shows disrespect to the royal family, and that leads to political turmoil. So for the Government to clamp down on the media when it comes to the royal family, it is just another way of saying be responsible.
So in summary, Connecting the Dots sees what the Thai Government is doing is actually very responsible. If Thailand is looking to go more mainstream in the global community, then the Thai media needs to get it’s act together and stop acting in ways that hurt the community, and start providing a service of accurate balanced reporting of news and events.