Voice TV faces 7-day shutdown

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has proposed a suspension of Voice TV’s broadcasting license for ‘unreasonable criticism’ and ‘biased content’.
On 27 March 2017, Lt Gen Peerapong Manakit, a member of the NBCT, said that it has proposed a temporary ban on Voice TV lasting seven days. The Commission will make a final decision this afternoon. 
The ban was initially proposed by the junta’s media regulatory team. According to a petition the junta sent to the NBTC, Voice TV published inaccurate stories during 15 to 20 March. These covered the junta’s operations at Wat Dhammakaya, its crackdown on the Ko Tee network, the summary killing of a Lahu activist and allegations that police are involved in a controversial casino located in a disputed Thai-Cambodian zone. 
The petition accused the programmes of being one-sided and of misleading the public. They were considered a breach of NCPO Announcement 97/2014 (the junta’s media regulations), the related NCPO Announcement 103/2014, and the NBCT Act.  
Peerapong added the sub-committee has investigated the petition and agreed that Voice TV has repeatedly violated regulations. Since the station has shown no attempt at improving, the NBTC proposed the temporary ban. 
In response, Voice TV published a statement saying it has always followed journalist ethics and that the controversial stories are not a threat to national security as the junta claims. If suspended, the station will continue to use its website and social media to cover stories. 
Lt Gen Peerapong Manakit (Photo from the NBTC)

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