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Phuket Perspective: Major media did poorly in the protests

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Perspective: Major media did poorly in the protests | Thaiger

PHUKET: While on holiday in Phuket two weeks ago, a Malaysian Sun Daily columnist was disappointed, if not disgusted, by the reports of respected international media covering the protests in Thailand.

In his column Down2Earth last week, he wrote about a spectacle that many Thais in Phuket and all over Thailand, including Bangkok itself, had been observing with indredulity for several weeks. The protests? Yes, but perhaps almost equally, in retrospect, the inflammatory coverage of those events by some of the world’s most prestigious news organizations.

The organizations in question, though international in coverage, were primarily of a Western persuasion in terms of editorial stewardship. They painted a picture of an entire nation up in smoke, with the term “civil war” being used repeatedly, and with the heart-rending spectre of a “failed state” being invoked from time to time.

Whether wilful, inspired by genuine awe in the hearts of the foreign reporters on the scene, or borne of genuine ignorance of the culture and background facts in operation behind the protests, the result was the same. A painful chapter in Thai history was made worse.   

Musing about his forthcoming column while here in Phuket, where there was a complete absence of any strife and an exceptional calm with the disappearance of tourists, Terence Fernandez conceded that the situation in Bangkok could have escalated out of control.

But he was also reminded of protests in his own country, from Reformasi to Hindraf, when international media repeated several times throughout the day the same “live” footage from “Malaysia”, giving the impression that the country was in a constant state of war nationwide, while the confrontations were, in fact, only sporadic and very much confined to Kuala Lumpur.

“Sometimes, depending on the [international news] agency and those calling the shots and signing the cheques, news is exaggerated as it fulfils an agenda, but often [that happens] because it just makes good TV,” Fernandez writes, adding that:

“In Baghdad, I witnessed the western propaganda machinery in action as there were “exclusive” press conferences for western media; even entertainment for selected news organisations, with the likes of CNN correspondents being feted like royalty by the Allied Forces.”

Though his point is not easily lost, Fernandez hammers it home by noting that the media has “an obligation to tell the whole story, without sugar-coating or trimming it.”

To which, mindul of some of the big-brand TV coverage of recent events in Bangkok, one has to add, “… and without sensationalising or otherwise destroying the credibility of it.”

For now, many will feel that there were no winners emerging from the hellish consequences of the two-month spectacle in Bangkok. But for channel surfers in Thailand, the level-headed objectivity of Al Jazeera could not have failed to impress.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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