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Tighter hold over media

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has assigned agencies to look into information disseminated to the public via different kinds of media.

They have been instructed to further understanding by the public about the work of the NCPO, and also to stem the flow of false information that may lead to hatred of the monarchy. The agencies have been told also to refer to the NCPO any information that may affect its work.

Deputy NCPO chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew chaired yesterday's meeting, which assigned the task to five working groups.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission was assigned to monitor broadcast media, the Special Branch Police was assigned to look into print media and the permanent secretary of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry was assigned to be in charge of monitoring online media. Meanwhile, the permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs was assigned to work on foreign media.

Manop Thip-osod, Thai Journalists Association (TJA)'s vice president on press freedom and media reform, said the association was concerned about the NCPO's move to monitor media. He added that the agencies tasked with the job should be given clear guidelines and ensure that their "monitoring" does not affect people's right to access information.

The TJA also voiced concern when it learned that a military officer walked into a newspaper's editorial office and asked the editors not to publish reports related to a certain prominent figure from the previous government.

The TJA board will be meeting today to discuss the issue.


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