There is a legitimate concern on both sides when it comes to the media in Thailand. There are enough propaganda mills that call themselves media to be worrisome to the Thai government or any government for that fact. So the thought of self governing does have merit. After all it is the international standard of reporting anyway.
So Connecting the Dots has come up with a very simple idea that can be overseen by an independent body or even the government. It simply acts a bit like a credit score. The higher the number, the more reputable the publication. Negative numbers would simply signal don’t trust what you read. Those numbers would be required to be published with every internet page, or on the front of a printed publication.
Then taking it a step further, points could also be assigned to the journalist, and that would directly interact with saving or losing face. So if that journalist went from one media outlet to another, their personal score would follow and be printed. So getting down to the personal level will be key in good self policing.
Certainly there would be different categories for scores. Example would be politics, crime and general news. Outside of those three nothing else is very critical. The food or sports sections will not make or break anyone.
Seeing that it will take some time to establish the validity of the story and how it was reported, there could be a delay of a week or more before the score reflects the story. So there will always be some lag, but once it gets going that should matter little.
The public will end up being the ones governing the media. If a publication has a negative score, it would be difficult if not impossible to sell ad space. There is a relationship that is perceived between the advertiser and the publication. If the publication is simply spam, then the advertiser is also seen in that light. If the publication is respected, then the advertiser is also seen in that light as well. If the publication can not make money, it will soon fail and disappear from the face of the earth. And even if it was funded by someone, those negative scores would tend to neutralize any credibility.
So each news story will be assigned points by the review body. +1 for excellent and accurate reporting. A 0 could be given for a story that has some flaws and may be hard to verify the truth. Then finally a -1 for a distorted story that deviates significantly from the truth. Positive scores will be printed in green, and negative scores printed in red in at least 20 point font so it is easy to spot.
The scores would be mandatory and the government could easily enact a law to insure that. Blogs would be excluded and only media outlets that are proper businesses would be required to comply.
This is not censorship, nor is it intimidation. It simply is a quality rating and people are still free to buy a honest or dishonest publications, but if history is any example, this should work out just fine.