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The best way for journalists to undermine the junta's rule is to report the truth: the First Editorial and Opening

 
The best way for journalists to undermine the junta's rule is to report the truth:
The First Editorial and Opening of Reporters Without Censors
 
Eighty-two years ago today (24 June 1932), Siam became a democracy. Today, the principles of freedom, equality and fraternity that initially came with it have not taken root in our political system. But they have taken root in the hearts of many Thais in a way that cannot be undone.
 
However, under the dictatorial rule of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), these principles are being destroyed. People are forced to remain quiet and accept the junta's claims that the military rule is needed to "keep peace", "return happiness" to the people, and "foster reconciliation" in society.
 
These claims are false, and recognised to be so by many Thais, who have tried to express their disapproval of the coup. Others have chosen to remain quiet, but it would be mistaken to infer from this that they believe the junta's propaganda, as disseminated through state media and privately-run mainstream media.
 
Contents of news reports in all mainstream media are heavily controlled. Any analysis or comment critical to the junta is prohibited, both by the junta and by media executives themselves. Journalists who are critical of the coup have either been arbitrarily summonsed and detained, or reprimanded or sacked by their organisations. Some news websites that report about anti-coup activities have been blocked. Those who circulate news about anti-coup activities on social media are being tracked down.
 
Yet, the junta's censorship and repression have only made people more eager to access uncensored news reports and critical analyses. For this reason, we have formed the group "Reporters Without Censors" ("สื่อไร้เซ็นเซอร์"), on the day commemorating the Democratic Revolution of 1932. Our aim is to offer news reports that are free from censorship, together with honest and balanced discussions and analyses - something that cannot be found in most Thai media at present.
 
We insist that:
1. We stand for democracy and freedom, and will offer reports and comments from the perspective of those who believe in democracy and freedom.
2. We defy the junta's censorship and insist on people's right to information.
3. We do not accept financial support from any business or political group.
4. We oppose the coup and the dictatorial rule of the NCPO, and we believe the best way for us, journalists, to undermine the military rule is to report the truth honestly.
 
Reporters Without Censors
24 June 2014

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