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NCPO eases controls on media, urges self-regulation

MEDIA ORGANISATIONS need to prove that representative bodies can regulate news outlets effectively and that they deserve self-regulation, National Press Council of Thailand chairman Chakkrish Permpool said.

He made the comment after the junta decided to tone down an order banning critical reports.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) amended some points in its announcement - No 97 - on media control after being told it was harsh.

Instead of banning criticism totally, the NCPO said, on Monday night, the ban applies to criticism made with ill intention or to discredit the NCPO by using false information.

Instead of an immediate ban on distribution, sales or broadcast by the media for violating the prohibition, the NCPO says it would allow professional media agencies to investigate the outlet or outlets that spread the false information.

The changes came after a meeting between the permanent-secretary of defence and representatives from professional media organisations earlier in the day.

Chakkrish said the media organisations were due to meet tomorrow (Thurs) to discuss the guidelines and measures. Thai Journalists Association president Pradit Ruangdit said media groups originally proposed that the NCPO revoke the announcement controlling the media as there are normal laws and codes of conduct to regulate the media. The real problem was law enforcement. But the NCPO decided to change the announcement, showing that the junta is quick to respond to the media and people's reactions.




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