Friday, March 9, 2007

The Nation: Shameless Hypocritical Attacks Against iTV Continue


The Nation

iTV journalists owe us all an apology

Employees who sold themselves cheap to Thaksin have nerve to portray themselves as free-media crusaders

ITV journalists can be forgiven for believing that they have scored a major victory in their fight for self-preservation. For now, they can look forward to severance pay from their former employer, iTV Public Company Limited, while at the same time remain assured that they will be immediately hired by the government's Public Relations Department (PRD), which has assumed guardianship of the station until a new private media company is found to operate it as a news and current affairs television network free from state interference and political manipulation.


First, let me begin by saying that I agree with The Nation that the iTV staff are an embarrassment to journalism.

I watched their tissy fits day after day on TV. These people are spoiled petulant children. They are not reporters. They are shameless and selfish hacks who care nothing about their profession.
In the civilized world, these iTV people would have been shamed by their peers in the journalism field, and the blogosphere would have had a field day. In Thailand, however, some in the Thai media and the Thai public have embraced these folks as if they were victims and heroes. This should tell you something about the state of the country's media when the iTV staff are treated in this manner.

The Nation is right about one thing. iTV whored itself to Thaksin. The deal that Thaksin gave iTV when he was in power was shady, and quite frankly, iTV intentionally went against the spirit of its original concession in order to make more money from game shows and soaps. And Thaksin brokered the deal in order to get favorable press.

Ironically, now that the military junta and the Surayud have saved iTV from itself, will it report anything critical of its new patrons? I seriously doubt it. It has just exchanged one patron for another. And that is the way things work in Thailand. When one faction goes out of power, all the self-serving hypocrites race to kow tow at the feet of the new faction that is calling the shots.

The Nation, on the other hand, has no right to condemn or judge any media institution in Thailand or anywhere else in the world, because its own journalistic standards and integrity are sorely lacking. I and other bloggers have pointed this out repeatedly.

And I think it is interesting that The Nation doesn't disclose its own relationship to iTV.

Essentially, didn't Thaksin fire The Nation media group from running the news department at iTV?

Everything that The Nation condemns iTV for The Nation is guilty of.

Still, the Nation has yet to do one investigative report concerning Thaksin's empire. The Nation has done nothing to uncover corruption or cronyism from the Thaksin government or the Surayud government. The Nation has yet to do a report uncovering corruption at the airport or an investigation as to why the bureaucracy is not cooperating in the corruption investigations of the past regime. The Nation has yet to do any in-depth coverage of the problems in the South or the arson attacks upcountry.

Indeed, The Nation continues to rely on half-assed analysis and terrible reporting. It doesn't even bother to edit the copy that is going out to the public.

The Nation should be the last institution in the world to make judgments about journalism or the journalistic professions in any capacity.


anon said...

The Nation is still bitter because under their watch, they ran iTV to the ground. That, and the much praised original news:entertainment ratio, which unfortunately wasn't so much of a hit with viewers. IMO, if the government wants to force a private station to show sub-optimal content, then it should be willing to give that station a subsidy so it has a healthy chance of success.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we will lose those God-awful soaps from (T)iTV now? If ever there was any insight into the state of the Thai psyche, it can be gained by watching what amuses them. Even Eastenders great by comparison.