The newly appointed media reform committee under the new reform law, which first convened on Tuesday, has laid out a framework for reform plans, pointing out that the imposition of state control on the media could be the wrong direction.
The panel head Jirachai Moonthong-roi, however, said that the panel might not be able to touch the controversial media regulatory bill, which will apparently contain a degree of state control, because the legislation had already been passed to the National Legislative Assembly.
Anything other than that which is still in progress would be scrutinised, he said.
Public members disagree with the media control by the state but there might be the need to synchronise the ‘Pracharat’ concept into the media reform, Jirachai said. It would be too extreme to let the media “fly freely”, especially now that everyone - including consumers themselves - could be the media.
The panel would also look at the problems challenging the media such, as those holding digital TV licenses, he said.
The initial framework set out in the meeting would be based on the principle that press regulation should be in the hand of the people who are affected directly by coverage. Any legislation involving controlling the media was not appropriate, Jirachai said.
The panel would meet once a week initially and twice from next month onwards, he said. All the reform frameworks would be done within the next three months or by December 28, he added.
After that, two extra months would be dedicated to opinion gathering, he said. If members of the public did not agree with the panel’s proposed approaches, it could not possibly be persistent, Jirachai said