ARC summons media bosses to tighten controls

BANGKOK (Agence France-Presse, The Nation): The Administrative Reform Council today ordered media executives to army headquarters to tell them to stop carrying expressions of public opinion following the military takeover, an army official said.

“At 4:00 pm [0900 GMT] Thursday, the Army Chief General Sonthi Boonyaratkarin called a meeting of media executives,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“He will ask all media to stop broadcasting text messages from viewers, and to stop running other expressions of public opinion,” he said.

Several Thai television stations allow viewers to send in messages from their cell phones, and then show the messages in a ticker at the bottom of the screen.

The official could not say how the ban on broadcasting opinions would extend to other forms of expression, such as newspaper editorials or Internet message boards.

The move came one day after the military imposed strict controls on the media and said they would block “disinformation” deemed harmful to the provisional military council now in control of Thailand.

“The council asks for cooperation from all types of media and media operators, as well as reporters, to report their stories accurately and constructively in order to swiftly restore normalcy to the country,” the official announcement said.

The army official said the council would soon begin making its own televised announcements every two hours.

Phuket News
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