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Junta asked to explain what offended them in newspaper

The National Press Council of Thailand (NCPO) has vowed to take action against ASTV Weekend if the junta's claim that the weekly newspaper violated media ethics proves to be true.

However, both the self-regulatory body and ASTV Weekend say the junta should first identify which parts of the weekly have committed the violations.

They spoke up yesterday after the ruling NCPO issued a reprimand against the newspaper on Saturday, criticising it for publishing false information that endangered the NCPO's credibility.

The NCPO has also ordered that the self-regulatory body, to which the ASTV Weekend is a member, to launch an ethics probe against those involved.

National Press Council of Thailand chairman Chakkrish Permpool said the council would not protect ASTV Weekend if it was found to have breached media ethics.

"But the NCPO will need to inform us in writing and produce clear evidence," Chakkrish said.

According to Chakkrish, the NPCT would convene a meeting tomorrow to discuss the NCPO order No 108/2557 that is related to the ASTV Weekend case.

ASTV to launch a probe

ASTV Weekend is a part of the ASTV Manager group. The group's top executive Jittanart Limthongkul said he would immediately launch an internal probe if the NCPO clarified which pieces of information were false.

He said the main stories in the July 26-August 1 edition also appeared in other media outlets.

Jittanart said his group intended to provide full cooperation to the NCPO. He said the group had been very cautious in reporting news and publishing articles.

Following the NCPO's latest move against the media, he vowed to convene an internal meeting to ensure that editorial staff show greater cautioun.

Jittanart said he would have no regrets if the NCPO found the weekly newspaper's content offensive and decided to shut it despite its best efforts to adhere to the junta's orders.

"In that case, I would just think I have already done my best," Jittanart said.


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