What Thai Media Should Stop Doing

What Thai Media Should Stop Doing

As a result of developing panda eyes from following Tangmo's tragic saga, Russia's invasion of Ukraine (let's call a spade a spade) among other stories, I'm reminded of a few patterns that Thai media use when reporting newsworthy stories that perhaps they shouldn't. Here are a few based on my own observations and for your entertainment (we all can use it, it has been a tough couple of weeks).

Ask a person how they feel when they've learnt that someone close has passed away

First of all, the answer is obvious. The person who's asked this question is already saddened over the loss of someone near and dear to them. Why do you want to bother them further with an insensitive question? What else do you expect them to say? Or do you want them to tear up on camera so you can get an emotional viral video? Oh, I get it now.

Mediums and fortune tellers

Whenever someone loses their life in murky circumstances, Thai media like to sprinkle superstitious dust onto the tragedy by reporting what spiritual gurus and mediums see in their visions. If someone is missing, they would predict their whereabouts and how they would show up or be found. Sometimes media outlets interview what mediums predict would happen next, with regards to the news of the moment. The programme gets a lot of ratings, the medium gets free air time, the economy of the superstition goes around but we get zero truth.

Glorify poverty

You've heard it before. Different versions of a student who manages to go to school despite living in poverty and hardship in his/her life. On one hand, it shows how resilient a young soul can be. There may be a kind teacher who goes the extra kilometre to offer help to said student as a supporting actor in this heart-warming tale.

On the other hand, it's poverty porn that mostly makes the audience feel fortunate when comparing themselves to the subject and "inspires" them to do better in their lives. Addressing the root cause, of why such students are in those circumstances and at risk of dropping out, may be a better way to cover this kind of story, perhaps? Or what can be done to prevent this kind of story from happening again.

Report falsehood

If you call yourself media, reporters or news anchors, you should at least double-check whether what you're about to put out to the public is true. You would think that spreading falsehood should be at the top of don'ts in journalism 101 but even veterans make rookie mistakes. Teeranai Charuvastra, who works for Prachathai English, recently called out two news anchors, namely Kanok Ratwongsakul and Theera Thanyapaiboon, who showed a video clip of what they claimed to be a staged display of Ukrainian casualties from the Russian invasion. The video clip shows a man reporting with many body bags behind him. One of them pointed out that one of the bags moved and joked that a man was struggling because it must be hot inside. The truth is that the video clip was of a symbolic protest to raise awareness on climate change in Vienna and had nothing to do with the Russo-Ukrainian war. Go figure!

Pornchai Sereemongkonpol

Guru section Editor

Guru section Editor

Email : pornchais@bangkokpost.co.th

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