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The Thai Press and the Southern Insurgency: Nothing More to Report (Report)

Contemporary Southeast Asia 2010, August, 32, 2

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The media response to the insurgency in the far south today is very different from when the violence resurfaced in early 2004 during the administration of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinnawatra. At that time--when the whole nation was gripped by the enormity of the conflict and the urgent need to find a solution--the national press dispatched a large number of Bangkok-based reporters to the south in a clear sign that editors regarded the issue as a top priority. Subsequently a number of journalists made repeated trips to the south for several years to cover the conflict. However, when neither the heavy handed measures of the Thaksin government, nor the "soft approach" and new policies of his successor Prime Minister General (retired) Surayud Chulanont failed to yield results, press interest in the conflict dissipated. The Thai authorities subsequently admitted that the insurgency could drag on for decades, and the Thai public came to accept that a quick solution to the problem would not be found. (1) As a consequence, the southern unrest, while it remained an important issue, ceased to be a priority or "hot news" item. Most newspapers in Bangkok have now streamlined their coverage of the southern conflict, and withdrawn their Bangkok-based reporters assigned to cover the issue. For a number of reporters still interested in the topic, obtaining permission from their editors to travel to the south has become more difficult, except to cover important anniversaries such as the 2004 Krue Se or Tak Bai incidents. However, special reports on these occasions serve only as a reminder of past events or, at best, a reflection of the change of mood; they do not, in any way, provide new insights into the dynamics of the ongoing conflict. Currently there are only a handful of knowledgeable reporters willing to work on the topic, and these reporters have generally been preoccupied with the political crisis in Bangkok which is seen as a more pressing matter. Some editors claim that they have reduced their coverage of the conflict because there are no new angles to present. For instance, according to Pakpoom Pongpai, news editor of Matichon Daily: "It's saturated. It has begun to repeat itself and there is no new angle. At the same time we have politics as the hot issue--not that it completely takes over the south issue. It's mainly because the south topic itself doesn't move." (2) The editors of the Bangkok Post and Kom Chad Luek have expressed similar views, while Pornchai Punnawattanaporn, the deputy editor of the Daily News Daily, has opined that "I don't think there is anything else about the south that we can cover." (3)

The Thai Press and the Southern Insurgency: Nothing More to Report (Report)
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  • 2,99 €
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  • Categoría: Política y actualidad
  • Publicación: 01/08/2010
  • Editorial: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
  • Páginas impresas: 19 páginas
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • Requisitos: Para ver este libro, debes tener un dispositivo iOS con iBooks 1.3.1 (o posterior) y iOS 4.3.3 (o posterior), o un Mac con iBooks 1.0 (o posterior) y OS X 10.9 (o posterior).

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