Broadcasting Commission warns media against covering calls for monarchy reform

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has warned the media against reporting on calls for monarchy reform after the Constitutional Court ruled that such messages are treasonous.

Workpoint News reported on Friday (26 November) that NBTC commissioner Lt Gen Perapong Manakit said during a meeting with representatives of various media outlets that they should not broadcast the 10-point demand for monarchy reform put forward by the activist group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration at a protest on 10 August 2020, after the Constitutional Court ruled on 10 November that speeches made by protest leaders Anon Nampa, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, and Panupong Jadnok, as well as subsequent calls for monarchy reform, were an intentional abuse of constitutional rights and liberties in an attempt to overthrow the “democratic regime of government with the King as Head of State.”

Peerapong said that, due to the ruling, calling for monarchy reform is against the law and reporting on such calls could be repeating the offense. He also said that reporters should not interview protest leaders, protesters, or those who agreed with the demands, but may report on the events that happen. However, he said that they should avoid long live broadcasts of protests to prevent the re-broadcast of speeches made during protests and calls for people to join the movement.

The NBTC also recommended that the media avoid inviting guests for talk show interviews about the demands, especially inviting representatives of both sides in to give their opinion on air.

Perapong said that it is possible to interview experts about the ruling, but that reporters should be aware that some content could go against the ruling, and they should consider the content before airing it.

Meanwhile, the NBTC said it is still possible to report on calls for the repeal of the royal defamation law, but the media should only report the facts and the events that take place.

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