Amnesty International Thailand recently held the 2018 Media Awards at Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel, recognising the categories of print media, online media, television (long reports), and television (short reports).
Somchai Homla-or, adviser to Amnesty International Thailand, explained that the event was organised out of respect for the role of the media in observing human rights principles and creating awareness of human rights in society. The event honours and supports the media by presenting awards for work that not only protects and respects, but also promotes human rights. The event also encourages the media to continue presenting stories relating to human rights issues and universal human values.
Somchai noted that the judging panel for the awards brought together leading experts on human rights and media issues.
The winners of the Media Awards 2018 are as follows:
In the report and feature story in the print media category, a plaque and Bt30,000 prize were awarded to Krungthep Thurakit (Bangkokbiznews) for its feature story “Urban Detainees and Refugees 101”. An honourable mention with a plaque and Bt10,000 prize was given to Daily News for its feature story “Nong Non … from a stateless athlete to the day his tears dried up and he was ready to fight for the Thai people”.
For the report and feature story in the online media category, a plaque and Bt30,000 prize were awarded for the article “Lessons Learned from Japan’s Death Row, Toshi Kazama, a photographer” to the Sanook website. Honourable mentions together with plaques and Bt10,000 prizes were given to the101.world website for “Perd Ta Ti Mor – Exploring Sex Work by Khlong Lot”; the Prachatai website for “Post-Retirement Life: From Cradle to Grave Welfare, something that can never happen here”; the BBC Thai website for “Four Years of the Coup: Death of Chaiyaphum Pasae, the Unanswered Questions about Human Rights Abuse under Military Rule”; and the101.world website for “In The Name of the Mother: Flames in the Eyes of Payao Akkhahad”.
In the category for TV documentary or news documentary (total length not more than 20 minutes), plaques and a Bt30,000 prizes were awarded to Workpoint for its report “Punishment vs Torture: The Torturous Discipline Military Officials have to Apply”; and to Thai PBS for its report “The Rohingya Exodus”. Honourable mentions together with plaques and Bt10,000 prizes were given to New TV for “The Extrajudicial Killing of Chaiyaphum Pasae: Facts that are Obscured by the Smoking Gun; and to PPTV for “Cross Border Trafficking”.
In the category for TV documentary or news documentary (total length should be not more than 60 minutes), plaques and Bt30,000 prizes were awarded to the Perd Pom programme on Thai PBS for its report “The Indebted Life of Mabri”; and to the San Tang Ton programme on PPTV for its report “There used to be a Man called Den Khamlae”. An honourable mention together with a plaque and Bt10,000 prize was given to the Spring Report programme on Spring News TV for its report “Children of Migrant Workers and their Education Opportunities”.
The awards were presented by Prof Vitit Muntarbhorn, former UN Special Rapporteur and the first UN Independent Expert on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Speeches on “When the Media Let Our Voices be Heard” were given by Sakda Kaewbuadee, an actor and a well-known volunteer who helps asylum seekers in Thailand, and Suphap Khamlae, a wife of Den Khamlae, an activist for land rights who disappeared in 2016. Postcards of encouragement from supporters of Amnesty International were presented to two human rights defenders: Angkhana Neelaphaijit, a human rights defender who campaigns to stop enforced disappearances in Thailand and the wife of a human rights lawyer who disappeared in 2004 and Pinnapa Prueksapan, a mother of five and the wife of an ethnic minority human rights defender who disappeared 2014.
Somchai Homla-or gave the closing remarks, thanking the media for their continuing work in presenting human rights issues.