NBTC may order Channel 3 to air Nua Mek 2's final episodes
National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission may ask Channel 3 operator to show final episodes of "Nua Mek 2" to see whether they really breach the law as claimed by the television station, a Bangkok seminar on the controversial self-censure by the television station was told Tuesday.At the seminar held at Chulalongkorn University’s Communication Arts Faculty, NBTC Commissioner Supinya Klangnarong said that she would propose to NBTC to request the channel to send final episodes of the "problematic" TV show to consider whether its content has violated Section 37 as cited by the TV operator.
Her proposal received a loud applaud at the seminar that participated by several hundreds of media, students and general public.
As she has voiced her opinion on social media, Supinya said she disagreed with the unnecessary use of Section 37." The NBTC had never used Section 37 to ban any media and we try not to abuse the freedom by over-exercising the law, which can create the climate of fear," she noted.
Before the conference ended, she informed the participants that Channel 3 has sent a letter of clarification on the ban. "I have just been informed but I would go and look into details. Right now, I think I will propose the board that we will have to see the final episodes screened on Channel 3."
The seminar invited academics and industry people to express their view on the "Nua Mek 2" (Above the Clouds 2) incident after the TV series was abruptly pulled from the air last Friday. Channel 3 has cited its inappropriate content and reasoned that the soap opera might breach Section 37. The action has raises a lot of questions regarding freedom and media censorship.
Suwanna Sombatraksasuk, former president of News Broadcasting Council of Thailand, said that she never watched the series but after the ban, she went and watched eight of "Nua Mek 2" episodes and didn’t find any content possibly breaching the Section 37.
Supaporn Phokaew, head of Mass Communications Department, Faculty of Communication Arts, said the ban hits hard on the freedom of audience. "We should at least have freedom to interpret what we watch on TV. If the entertainment content is banned, what the hope we have with the other truth finding in the society," she noted.
Asst Prof Grirggiat Punpiputt from Kantana Academy said the ban should not have occurred considering the TV series have been completed long before the airtime. There should have been enough time to re-edit it. "The re-editing or muting sound happened all the time in TV business. What surprise me is that there is an alternative (rather than the ban)," he said, echoing the public’s opinion on the social media that the axing of the show is rather unusual.