Media reform panel determined to press for new media bill

The media reform committee of the National Reform Steering Assembly remains unbowed to pressure from media organizations and will press ahead with a new media bill that seeks to establish a media council to regulate media professionals and to promote their professional ethics.

The committee chairman, Air Chief Marshal Khanit Suwannet, claimed at a press conference held on Monday that the panel had assigned Mrs Prapa Haetrakul, a media professional herself, to consult with media representatives on regular basis about the content of the new bill.

As for the media council which is yet to be set up in accordance with the bill, there will be five media representatives among the 13 council members, four representing the government who are permanent secretaries and another four representing professional organizations.

The council is responsible for issuing regulations to govern media professionals, issuing licenses for the media representatives and revoking the licenses.

ACM Khanit further said that the bill had gone through public hearings with the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) supporting the idea of bringing in outsiders to sit in the media council.

He said members of the media should not be worried about the law if they did nothing wrong while assuring that the media could continue to perform their duties independently without state interference.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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