Thais turn to new media
Thais are growing increasingly suspicious of the media coverage of the unrest in Bangkok.
Last Modified: 30 May 2010 07:32 GMT

On The Listening Post this week go back to Thailand to see how new media is getting the story out and we look at the impact of social media on the business world.

Back in April we covered the escalating violence in Thailand. A month later the violence is starting to subside but the country is still politically unstable.

Our first report looked at how the current prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, was using his control over the state-run media to counter the deposed former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra's use of new media.

Now the story has evolved.

Not only has Bangkok become a very difficult place to cover for both local and international journalists but the Thai people have also become deeply suspicious of that coverage. They have called it biased and are turning more and more to new media to find out what is really happening in their country.

We go back to Thailand  this week to see what the conditions are like for journalists there and who the main players in new media sphere are.

Quick hits from the media world: The social networking website, Facebook has been blocked by the authorities in Pakistan after a group called "Everyone Draw Mohammed" was created, that urged visitors to draw their own portrait of the Prophet Mohammed; media barons Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi have fallen out again over a proposed law in Italy that has ominous implications for news editors there; the oil giant BP appears to be investing as much effort in containing bad publicity as they are in containing the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico; and Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is caught in an undercover sting by the News of the World tabloid newspaper, promising access to a member of the British royal family.

There is an old adage in commerce that says if a customer has a good experience with your business he will tell a few friends, if he has a bad one, he will tell a lot more. Today, with the prevalence of social media that trend has never been truer. Disgruntled customers are now able to take their frustrations online and potentially reach millions of people.

We caught up with musician Dave Carroll to talk to him about this new phenomenon after he had a bad customer service experience with the American airline, United Airlines. His guitar was broken after he flew with them and when they refused to compensate him for it he put his story into three songs and unleashed them online. Ten million hits on YouTube later and United Airlines have changed their tune, Carroll became a household name and his story has become a clear example of the power of social media. The Listening Post's Nick Muirhead takes a closer look at how this new dynamic is affecting the business world.

Judging by our Internet video of the week, World Cup fever has hit South Korea. Their football team has been training hard to get ready for the tournament that kicks off in South Africa in the next few weeks but so have their fans, even at high school level. We fear with this kind of colourfully coordinated support, the action on the grandstands might be more exciting to watch than the football on the field.

This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, May 28, 2010.

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