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'Media has vital role to play in revealing impact of graft'

The media should play a crucial role in educating the public - to make them realise the impact of corruption on people's lives, former National Anti-Corruption Commission member Klanarong Chanthick said at a seminar yesterday.

Being a democracy was not enough, freedom of press must also be ensured for a country to prosper, he said.

Klanarong spoke in a seminar on the media and their role in fighting corruption held to mark the National Press Council's 17th anniversary.

He expected the media to play an enhanced role in fighting corruption, adding that freedom of the press was vital in a democracy. There was a good opportunity now to raise serious concerns about corruption and to show the public how bad it could be, he said.

"Corruption has been embedded in our history for a long time. Although the practice was unacceptable during the Rattanakosin Kingdom, people became ignorant of it during World War II until then," Klanarong said.

The media needed to let society know about the impact of corruption, as well as to reveal truth in the news, because media outlets can reach a large amount of the population.

He also said the media played a key role in providing knowledge and information to the public.

"Democracy and freedom of press are important factors in world transparency rankings. The new constitution should keep the 7th article of the 2007 Constitution, which had the purpose of preventing officials' interfering [in state projects]," Klanarong noted.

As part of activities to mark the 17th anniversary, there was an award given to newspapers for outstanding editorials last year. An editorial by Kom Chad Luek (a sister paper of The Nation) won an honourable mention in this category.


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