The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association (TBJA) voiced their objection against the temporary suspension of the license of Voice TV by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and urged the broadcast regulator to review its decision immediately.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the two media organisations noted that the suspension of operating license of Voice TV for seven days starting today (Tuesday) will affect the entire staff of the TV station many of whom are innocent and have nothing to do with the three programmes faulted by the NBTC for repeated violations of orders No 97 and 103 of the National Council for Peace and Order.
The three programmes are Baitong Haeng aired on March 15 regarding Dhammakaya issue; Her View aired on March 20 regarding Ko Tee's arms seizure; and Over View aired on March 20 on extra-judicial killing of Lahu hilltribe activist Chaiyaphum Tasae.
Saying that the NBTC is supposed to be an independent organization, TJA and TBJA noted that it appeared that the broadcast regulator's decision against Voice TV was influenced by an outsider as the decision came after there was a complaint from the media monitoring panel of the NCPO against Voice TV's four programmes.
The two media organizations also charged that the regulator's action against Voice TV went against the fundamental principle of press freedom enshrined in constitutions B.E. 2540, 2550 and the latest draft charter which was approved in a public referendum.
Instead of suspending the operating license of Voice TV, they suggested that the regulator should have taken action through normal legal channel against the programmes concerned. Or let the consumers to make their own judgement.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)