Media organizations ask the government not to in fringe on press freedom

Four media organizations have asked the government to be discreet in meting out any measures under the Emergency Decree which may infringe on media freedom and free expression or may interfere with the performance of duty of members of the media.

The four media organizations include the National Press Council of Thailand, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and the News Broadcasting Council of Thailand.

Citing the allegations made by Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul of disinformation or distortion of information by the media in a way which may incite public unrest or disunity, the four media organizations expressed concern that such allegations have sent a signal that the government might mete out regulations which infringe on the rights and freedom of the media such as news censorship or prohibition of the distribution of newspapers.

The government’s claim of the media misconduct is not justified enough to clamp down on press freedom which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The four media organizations also criticised the state-owned media outlets for its imbalanced reportage by denying the government’s opponents equal air time. They also asked the government or any government official not to disseminate information or talk to the media in a way which will incite confrontation or unrest.