11 July 2024

Thailand’s three press associations have urged the national broadcast regulator, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), to reconsider its order to suspend the operations of Voice TV for 15 days.

 

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the Thai Journalists Association, the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association and the Online News Providers Association said that it was not necessary for the NBTC to take the station off the air as there are already laws, such as the defamation law, to deal specifically with the moderators of the shows in question or the programmes themselves.

 

The three associations urged the media to observe their code of conduct and exercise caution in the presentation of their news to avoid instigating conflict, especially during an election period.

 

The NBTC charged that Voice TV’s two political programmes, “Tonight Thailand” and “Wake Up News”, had been presenting news in a biased manner since 2015. The regulator also warned that it might revoke the operating license of the station if it continues to flaunt the regulations.

The management of Voice TV is to lodge a petition with the Administrative Court today to seek the court’s reprieve of the suspension. An official of the company has estimated that the 15-day closure would cost the company about 30 million baht in lost revenue.

 

Voice TV is known for being critical of the military junta and is allegedly associated with the pro-Thaksin camp.