Political polarisation in Thailand is not as extreme as the international media makes it out to be, according to a US-based media expert.
Hernando Rojas, an associate professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said polarisation here is less severe than in many other countries.
Mr Rojas made the remarks yesterday at a seminar on "Media and Political Polarisation", jointly organised by the Thai Journalists Association and Burapha University's faculty of political science and law.
The international media however should be careful not to stoke the political tensions that do exist here, he warned. Journalists often create the idea that the world at large faces more polarisation than it really does, he said.
Mr Rojas is an expert in political communication and technology. He encouraged journalists here to integrate complete perspectives and voices into their stories in order to promote democracy.
News and the media often give readers and viewers an impression of a polarised world, he said.
However, individuals themselves rarely develop extreme views from what they learn from the media, he added.
Large networks that control news are likely to impose a particular bias, and journalists need to adjust to this environment, he said.
"There is a Spanish saying that you have to not only be good, but also show that you are good, which means that it is not enough to be good reporters," he said. "You have to show that [goodness] in your writing.
"In general, all journalists need to be more careful when reporting the news.
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- Writer: Lamphai Intathep