The word "public" in Thai has long been mixed up, or even used interchangeably, with the word "state". This weak and obfuscated notion of the "public" is illustrated quite evidently in the recent frenzy surrounding public television, a relatively new media sector in Thailand.
A worker cleans the logo of Thai PBS before a meeting on the station’s programming strategy. The controversy surrounding the ‘Tob Jote’ talk show highlights the difficulty of freeing the airwaves when the notion of ‘public’ is still confused with ‘state’. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
This sector has recently been put to two difficult tests that may affect its existence and future direction. This refers to the Tob Jote (Answer the Question) programme controversy on the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) station, and the much-criticised ruling by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on the licensing approach for digital TV.
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