The Nation



Examine the world's blind spot over Thailand

Re: "Anti-govt forces have a new 'bogeyman' - the Western media", Politics, December 25.

Pravit Rojanaphruk is right to criticise excessive hostility to the foreign press. However, his "xenophobia" label ignores the many expats who question the quality of foreign media reporting and also the many Western oriented/educated Thais disappointed at what seems to them shallow and biased reporting from media they respected.

A quick look at Fox News shows that news reports can be both factual and biased, by focusing on certain facts and ignoring others, or by using emotive phrases. If news reports refer to the "Bangkok urban elite" instead of "educated, urban white-collar workers", viewers react negatively. "Pro-European" protests in Ukraine sounds good, but they too are protesting against an elected democratic government. Are red-shirt villages all about idyllic grassroots democracy or is there also an unreported undercurrent of intolerance to non-red shirts?

Rather than tarring all critics of foreign media as xenophobic nuts, maybe Pravit could usefully review the quality of foreign reports on Thailand since 2009 and identify why so many Thai and expat viewers feel there is a lack of the "whole truth and nothing but the truth".

Martin S

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