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Listening Post

Thailand: the military and the media

The Kingdom and its media are placed under military control; plus heads roll at Spain's three top dailies.

Last updated: 31 May 2014 16:50
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No military coup is complete without a media crackdown. When the military seized control of the country on May 22, Thailand’s new military leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha declared that the country was under martial law: and nearly half of the provisions in that law served to curb news media. Since then, some international channels were blocked, journalists arrested, others schooled on how to report the coup.

We ask whether this is a permanent state of emergency or a temporary setback for media freedom in Thailand. Our voices are Gayathry Venkiteswaran, executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Duncan McCargo, professor of political science at the University of Leeds, Kasit Piromya, politician with the Democrat party and Giles Ji Ungpakorn Thai-British academic and political activist.

Newsbytes this week: Ukraine: two journalists die as the story becomes increasingly dangerous to report; in Egypt: satirist Bassem Youssef is taken off-air indefinitely; and in Pakistan: two newspapers issue apologies  to the national security agency for reports of an attack on a journalist and the schism between former allies The Intercept and Wikileaks.

For our feature we take a look at Watergate Spanish style: a muckraking journalist; a slush fund; a prime minister discredited. Then there is the question of why three editors from the top three dailies – El Pais, El Mundo and La Vanguardia - were all let go in the space of three months.  That is where our report on the Spanish media begins this week.

The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro talks to the incoming directors at El Pais and El Mundo to ask them why their predecessors were shown the door, what this means for freedom of expression - and what they plan to do to boost sales in an industry that finds itself on the verge.

Finally, our web video of the week is a walk through the streets of Japan – backwards. SANDL, a French duo, have created the curious impression of all but one man to be walking backwards. To do it they filmed someone walking backwards through the streets of Tokyo, and then played it in reverse, giving us, ‘Tokyo Reverse.’

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.

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Al Jazeera
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