House committee to summon NBTC for asking media not to cover the monarchy issue, says MP

Amarat Chokepamitkul, an MP of the Move Forward Party (MFP) and member of the House Committee on Political Development, Mass Communications and Public Participation said the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) would be summoned to explain their request to the mainstream media to avoid covering news about monarchy reform.

File photo

According to the MFP media team, Amarat said on 28 November that the House Committee will summon NBTC Commissioner Lt Gen Perapong Manakit to explain the Commission’s request to the mainstream media to avoid covering monarchy-related activities that are found unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court ruling on 10 November.

Broadcasting Commission warns media against covering calls for monarchy reform

Amarat said even if the Court ruling is regarded as a mandate binding on all organizations, it should not influence media news reports. Press freedom is important and the media should also protect their professional dignity.

On 26 November, Lt Gen Perapong held a meeting with representatives of various media outlets in which he said that they should not broadcast news about calls for monarchy reform. He cited the Constitutional Court ruling on 10 November that found the 10 demands for monarchy reform, speeches made by 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.”

Perapong said that according to the ruling, calling for monarchy reform is against the law and reporting 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 to give their opinions 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.

Source: 
prachatai.com/journal/2021/11/96167

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