Media urged to act as bridge between government and people

national June 24, 2017 13:09

By Khanittha Thepkajorn
The Nation

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The media should help bridge the gap between people and the government in paving the way for the country’s newly introduced national strategy and reform plans addressed under two new laws on national strategy and reform passed by the National Legislative Assembly on Friday.

National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) vice chairman Alongkorn Ponlaboot told participants at the seminar “The media during the reform era”, organised by the NRSA on Friday, that the media should also reform itself. He said they should adhere to the fundamental principles in any democratic set-up including press freedom and non-partisanship to help ensure reconciliation in society.

The Thai Journalists Association (TJA), meanwhile, declined the NRSA’s invitation to take part in developing a new code of conduct, saying this was under the media reform bill which would infringe on press freedom.

The organisation was invited by the body to take part in the event on June 28. 

Its spokersperson, Pratyachai Datthuyawat, said the TJA decided to decline the invitation and would only adhere to the self-regulation approach as part of media reform.

The TJA as well as other media organisations view the media bill drafted by the NRSA as proposing mechanisms that infringe on press freedom rather than promote it.

These include the new media professional council, which would see at least two top state officials sitting on the council along with media representatives.

The groups met Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday to discuss about the bill, but no new agreement was reached.

The bill is now with the government which will forward it to the NLA to enact it as a new law.