ON THE SPOT
With the red-shirted UDDs on the move, the local newspapers have been covering, and covered in, stories of security measures and the movements of the mob. As the situation looks unlikely to be quickly resolved, some people have been put off by the political and, of course, media channels through which we receive news of our troubled society on a daily basis. 'Muse' asked you last week, during this time when we're not sure of what we read in the newspaper or see on television, what kind of news you want to receive from the media: print, radio or television? Here are your answers!
"The events have been getting a bit too much news coverage. It's all about the UDD everywhere; in print, on TV and on the radio. So what about the other things that are happening in this country? How far has the vaccine for the H1N1 flu reached by now? What about the price of sugar cane? Are the farmers happy with the prices they have been getting these days? How about the students and their A-net and O-net exams? Does the government do anything else apart from tackling the protesters? Are the ministers of other ministries at work today because I haven't seen them for a while? The government doesn't seem to be working at all except handling the day-to-day UDD situation. Thailand seems to have turned into a red-shirted country without any other events to speak of."
"I usually enjoy watching political news. But there has been too much about the red shirts these days. They are protesting, yes, but life goes on. There are a lot more topics to talk about in the news; for example, the water shortage and sugar prices. Don't devote too much time on the colours like the blood ritual. If the media want to cover the UDD, they should talk more about the substance of the protest or analyse it, rather than keeping up with the non-substantial events of the day."
"I wonder why the Thai stock prices are rising during the political turmoil, unlike the plunging stock market 16 months ago when the yellow shirts closed the airport. There is too much of the red shirts in the news coverage; be it on television, on the radio and especially in newspapers. The front page is all red. I wonder if there's anything else going on in this country. Any successful Thais and their rising businesses? What about the water shortage for the farmers outside Bangkok?"
"I'm so tired of the political news these days. It's all about the UDD. It deprives me of other types of news that are supposed to be reported by the media. For example, some of the TV channels are devoting too much air time for the situation. When I turn on the television, I always seem to see Sorayuth Sutassanachinda talking about the protesters. But I have to keep myself updated with the situation because I need to know about the traffic along my daily commute."
Next week: It's Earth Hour next Saturday and we have again been asked to turn off the lights from 8:30 to 9:30pm. Similar to last year, we are asking you what you plan to do when the lights go out for the Earth. Will you spend the hour meditating in quiet darkness or will you be sipping an iced tea in a garden somewhere? Share your plan with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before March 24. Our favourite idea will win a special prize.