CDC chief urges media on self-reforms
CHIEF CHARTER drafter Meechai Ruchupan has urged Thailand’s mass media to reform themselves – or outsiders would have to.
Meechai, chairman of the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) and an advocate of media reform, said the media should put forward proposals on how they would self-regulate.
However, he declined to comment on whether the draft law of the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) that has been criticised as controlling the media was in accordance with the new referendum-endorsed constitution.
Meechai said that the media would have to reform themselves and come up with a set of proposals on self-regulation, so this could be compared with the NRSA version. When the draft bill was put before the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for deliberation, the legislators could then see the alternatives, he said.
The CDC chairman acknowledged that media organisations were mulling an alternative draft, but said they should rush their proposals to the NLA before the NRSA had submitted theirs. Meechai’s remarks came after major media organisations opposed the NRSA’ draft bill on regulation, saying it was not in line with the new constitution which promoted media independence and stipulated that the media should have an official self-regulatory organisation.
In response to complaints that the passage of laws under the ruling junta was too rushed, Meechai said that the media would just have to speed up their work accordingly.
However, he gave an assurance that the constitution opened up opportunities for stakeholders to lodge their opinions regarding the laws. He said the media should exploit that to participate in deliberations.