History Of News & Media In Thailand
News media has always played a central role in the development of Thailand. Even though the government has considerable control over the broadcasting services, the media sector has gradually evolved in Thailand.
During the early 1980s, media communication was a prominent means for domestic and international news. Television and radio were the principal source of entertainment in Thailand. For the purpose of broadcasting domestic news, government policies and major developments around the globe, Thai News Agency was established in 1976 under the Mass Communication Organization of Thailand. Unlike the print media, the broadcasting media has always been under the supervision of various government agencies. Royal Thai Army itself has ownership on multiple broadcasting frequencies. Currently, there are around 204 AM radio stations, 334 FM stations and six shortwave broadcasters in Thailand that are operated directly by various government agencies. National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) was established in 1997 by the Thai constitution as an independent regulatory authority supervising all the television and radio services. But, due to certain political and legal reasons, NBC is not fully functional in Thailand.
In contrast, print media such as newspapers were mainly operated independently through private owners. These newspapers were mainly published from Bangkok. During initial days of print media, the government tried to exercise its control over the matters being published. Even penalties were imposed on any publications that were offensive in nature. But, due to the changing trends in the economic and political scenario of the world, the publication standards of the Thai Press improved. Today, every province of Thailand has its own daily newspaper. Many of the publication houses have even adopted a multi-linguistic approach where newspapers are published in English, Chinese and Thai languages.