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Thai Minister Hopes To Raise Image Of State Media


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Minister hopes to raise image of state media

By The Nation

PM's Office Minister Surawit Khonsomboon yesterday vowed to improve the image of state-run media if he is put in charge of the government's mouthpieces.

"Basically, in overseeing the state media, I will try to promote neutrality, straightforwardness and creativity to win acceptance," he said.

Mass-market media outlets would also be encouraged to broadcast content that is more palatable to the majority of the population.

However, the regulation of community radio stations would be a big problem because of their sheer numbers.

Surawit noted that he had not been officially assigned the job of overseeing the state media.

When Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's brother Thaksin was in power, his government's relationship with the mass media was frosty at best and the state media were felt to be biased towards the government.

One state media outlet, Modernine TV, had two hosts of a news talk show filing a complaint yesterday to Huai Kwang Police Station over an anonymous threat to assault them.

Suwit Suthiprapha, 51, and Pornpat Neelaphan, 48, of "Kui Kamong Bai Sammong" (Chatting Freely at 3pm), also produced a postcard, a picture of a man showing his sexual organ and a hand-written letter saying, "You old people. We are from PPP. We will hit you with a baseball bat for slandering us."

Suwit said similar warnings had been sent to their office twice before.

Police found that the missives were mailed from Nonthaburi's Pak Kret district, but it was unclear whether "PPP" referred to the People Power Party, which was dissolved in 2008 by court order.

Pol Lt-Colonel Jatupat Thongkomol, who took receipt of the complaint, said the sender was believed to be well off, as an analysis of the ink showed the message was written with an expensive pen. It was likely the person was unhappy about something discussed in the programme.

Police will try to find the perpetrator, as his act was a crime, although the two hosts told police they did not intend to take legal action against anyone, he said.


-- The Nation 2011-08-12

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