By Duncan McCargo
This is often the 1st e-book within the English language to check the tangled internet of relationships linking newspaper proprietors, editors and journalists, with top politicians and power-holders. Duncan McCargo has been granted specified entry to the editorial conferences of Thailand's prime newspapers, and drawing in this, the publication uncovers the contradictions and dichotomies which underlie political assurance within the Thai press.
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Additional resources for Politics and the Press in Thailand: Media Machinations (Routledge Research in South East Asia)
Politics and the media in Thailand 21 To the student of politics who comes fresh to the discipline of communications studies, defining the political role of the press in a country such as Thailand seems relatively straightforward. The largely self-serving rhetoric of watchdogs, mirrors and agenda-setters may be set aside, and the press viewed on the same basis as any other political actor. Newspapers (and, for that matter, their reporters, columnists and editors) are clearly partisan political actors who participate actively in the political arena, driven primarily by the pursuit of their own interests.
This is a paradox. Although from their political coverage it looks as though newspapers have a lot of freedom, actually none of them dares criticise the King. This is something we can’t write, and it has real influence in Thai society. If you ask what we can’t write, it is usually matters related to the monarchy. No matter how important the person is, Kamphol, Suchinda, Chuan, they can’t come out against the King. It’s culture and tradition, in the blood of society, which if you look at this world is very dangerous, in my view.
Any such material could only be expressed within the confines of a column. This meant that the newspaper reader had to be extremely skilled, not only having the time and stamina to read a front-page political story the equivalent of ten normal A4 pages long, but also capable of extrapolating the main points from that story. Political news-gathering in Thai language newspapers 41 Although political news stories did have a ‘beginning’ – usually a statement by a well-known public figure – they lacked either a middle (a core praden), or an ‘end’, in the form of a concluding paragraph summarising the development and looking forward to the next stage.