Media darling PM 'boosts news sales'

Media darling PM 'boosts news sales'

Cameras around the room capture Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as he speaks on sustainable economy at a G-77 Forum event on Wednesday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Cameras around the room capture Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as he speaks on sustainable economy at a G-77 Forum event on Wednesday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

From playing badminton with the world champion at Government House to taking part in an outdoor race to finish a carton of milk against a young schoolgirl, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha regularly makes it to the front page of the nation's dailies -- so much so he reckons he has helped boost sales at a time of circulation declines.

During a speech to some 200 diplomats from the so-called G-77 group of 134 developing countries at a conference on sustainable development, the junta leader said the media are not operating under a "normal situation", in which the country still lacks an elected civilian government.

Gen Prayut, who has admitted he is illiterate on social media and often agitated by news he reads online, said newspapers are losing readership to rival content on social media, so he has been doing his bit to increase print runs by posing for photos on front pages.

"You also see daily front page photos of the prime minister pointing at this and that. Those finger-pointing gestures don't mean I am overusing my power, but it is my military habit. It is a way of following up on progress of previous assignments," said the former infantry soldier, who is renowned for his frequent tirades.

The junta chief is often caught on camera dressing down reporters after he has read criticism from his political opponents on social media.


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