PM complains of Thai PBS’s news coverage on drought problem

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Thursday questioned the news presentation by Thai PBS TV station about the drought situation.

“Did you watch Thai PBS? They presented the affected people’s side of the story without mentioning about what we (the government) has done. I do not complaint against you (Thai PBS). But you are using the state’s taxes. I have done my part. You (Thai PBS) should do your part,” said the prime minister as he gave a speech on “Disclosure of information and transparency in the governor sector’s administration”.

“ If you just presented one-sided story, I will be in trouble. The good side of the story…..the way we told them (farmers) to shift the crops (crops which need less water), you (Thai PBS) didn’t present to the public. But you just shot the dry land, the place where there is no water so the people will criticize the government. Should you (Thai PBS) deserve the state’s taxes?” said the prime minister.

He maintained that the media’s job is to create better understanding among the people toward the government.

He said he had ordered the state-run TV Channel 11 to overhaul its programmes resulting to less audience because the programmes are heavily technical and not entertaining.

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Thai PBS deputy director Anupong Chaiyariti

However, Thai PBS deputy director Anupong Chaiyariti defended that Thai PBS’s news coverage on drought situation was well balanced and based on facts with the intention to create public awareness about the drought problem.

He insisted that the news presentation had attached importance to facts and the participation of all stakeholders. He cited the news coverage on drought situation in Nong Yaplong district of Suphan Buri where the governor, representatives of the military, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and villagers were present and they were covered by Thai PBS.