Weekly Wrap Up: Outcry over Thai regulators ban of VoiceTV

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Professional media associations showed support for VoiceTV urging Thai broadcast regulators to reconsider its decision to ban the station. The news outlet was given a seven day ban by The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)  for repeatedly broadcasting bias and unjustified criticisms against the Thai military. The NBTC subcommittee had initially proposed a three day license suspension but increased it to seven days following three continuous violations within a month. 

A joint statement from by the Thai Journalists Association and Thai Broadcast Journalists Association called the ban of the whole station”unfair”, noting that only some programmes and anchors violated the orders. They also described the ban as violating media freedom in Thailand, potentially harming other media outlets. Voice TV has had programmes banned several times since the military coup in 2014. The decision to suspend a  station’s operating licence is considered a very rare practice in Thailand.

VoiceTV was among the first internet media organisations in Thailand with a website-only presence in 2009. The news outlet owned by former PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s children won a digital TV licence three years ago and has vowed to take legal action.

Further details of this story can be found on Bangkok Post, The Nation and Khaosod English

The Karnataka Legislature formed a joint committee to identify ways for controlling both and electronic media. The committee was deemed necessary after Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) from all parties complained to the house speaker about being “misrepresented” by the media. The committee is due to provide its recommendations in three months.

More details can be found at News18.

Two BBC editors are to hold a lecture on media freedom in Thailand‘s Thammasat University’s Tha Pra Chan campus. Director of the BBC’s World Service Group,Frans Unsworth and Iain Haddow, Executive Editor for Asia will also speak at Chulalongkron University. The BBC has been under the spotlight after recent coverage of Thailand’s leaders.

The story can be read on The Nation.

Media chiefs from across the globe have submitted a letter to USA President Donald Trump highlighting his constant attacks on the press. The letter was signed by more than 40 media chiefs e, including Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, the first Malaysian to be elected into the Paris-based World Editors Forum (WEF).

The story can be read on The Star

Myanmar has allowed foreign journalists to visit and “freely investigate” the state of Rakhine.  A team of 20 foreign and local media groups has been granted permission to visit the state where the country’s military has been accused of human rights abuses against the Rohingya. The United Nations has claimed that more than 1,000 have been killed in by army operations.

Further details from the story can be read on Asian Correspondent