Media freedom threatened by NBTC

Thai Broadcast Journalists Association today accused the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the country’s only powerful national regulator, of threatening the media freedom over its defamation suit brought against a TV station’s announcer.

In a joint press conference being held late this morning with two other defendants named in the defamation suit  by the national regulator, Thailand Development Research Institute and ThaiPBS station,   the journalist association said four of the five-member NBTC  board of directors has filed a defamation suit against Miss Duenden Nikomborirak, the director of TDRI’s research department, and ThaiPBS announcer and news editor Miss Nattha Komolvatin over a recent report on NBCT’s  1,800 MHz mobile service.

The defamation suit brought by the national regulator is a blatant threat to the freedom of the media and researchers of which their research  works and report were beneficial to the public, the journalist association said.

It went on saying that the press conference today would enable the public to under the duty of journalists and researchers and the consequences which will follow from the act of the NBTC.

A NBTC commissioner Miss Supinya Klangnarong also voiced opposition to the legal suit brought against the media and TDRI as it was a threat to media freedom which acts as an independent and outside watchdog.

Instead, she said, such legal suit would only paint the NBTC as n untouchable organization.

She added if the defamation case was brought into the court process, she would be willing to defend for the defendants as a witness.

Miss Supinya is one of the five-member powerful NBTC board of directors.