NRC claims new media bill will not hinder independence

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BANGKOK, 23 July 2015 – The National Reform Council (NRC) members says the new media act will prevent interference from the government or from any particular groups.

NRC members Boonlert Kachayuthadet and Nimit Sitthitrai have addressed the concerns put forward by four media associations, namely the Thai Journalist Association, the National Press Council of Thailand, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association, and the News Broadcasting Council of Thailand, who had previously issued a statement disapproving the Freedom, Ethic, and Professional Standards Promotion Act on New Media, which was endorsed by the NRC.

The media associations stated that the new law would not facilitate media reform, but instead will allow government and capitalists to assert absolute control over the media.

In response, the NRC members stated that the new law, including establishment of the national, regional, and provincial levels of media ethic organizations will enhance the performance of the media. The members added that the media professional development fund will not hinder the media’s freedom, as the fund is not sponsored by the government.

In addition, Mr. Nimit has said that media on the local levels should work to promote reformation, while this new act will allow local media become more recognized by the society as a honorable profession.

He has added that the neglect of local media, despite the legislation of the new law, media reforms are doomed to fail.