FCCT is concerned with new media visa guidelines

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The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand has expressed concern that the Foreign Ministry’s revised guidelines for media visas may impede freedom of reporting.

The guidelines formalize more restrictive criteria for the approval of media visas and some long-standing foreign journalists, particularly photographers, have been rejected after many years of reporting from Thailand and this is deeply discouraging, said the FCCT in its statement.

The FCCT said it acknowledged the foreign ministry’s prerogative to determine who is eligible for media visas and welcomed a recent opportunity to share their views on the new guidelines, some of which were accepted, including the grace periods for those who are now expected to make drastic alternative arrangements to their working lives.

However, the FCCT urged the Thai authorities to interpret the guidelines in a way that enables all bona fide journalists to be properly accredited and report freely and fairly.