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Voice TV news show suspended for a week

Aug 30. 2016
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VOICE TV’S morning news programme was suspended by the broadcasting regulator yesterday for one week, effective from tomorrow, over alleged unlawful content aired in mid-August.

The programme’s suspension comes just two weeks after two of its TV hosts were hit with 10-day bans.

Pakdee Manaves, deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, |confirmed yesterday that the NBTC’s broadcasting committee had voted 3-1 on Monday to agree with a request from a subcommittee overseeing TV content |and scheduling regulations to suspend Voice TV’s “Wake Up News” from September 1 to 7.

The request was made last week for the broadcasting committee’s consideration. The subcommittee said Voice TV had aired controversial content related to an August 15 interview with Pol Captain Chomdet Trimek about the recent bombings and arson attacks, a hunger strike by political activist Pai Daodin, and the clarification by Constitution Drafting Commission chairman Meechai Ruchupan on the charter amendment regarding the process for selecting the prime minister.

The subcommittee said the news content was deemed to be in violation of the junta’s orders 41/59, 97/57 and 103/57, Section 37 of the Broadcasting Act, and a memorandum of understanding with the NBTC.

Supinya Klangnarong was the only member of the broadcasting committee to vote against the suspension. She posted her opinion via Twitter that the NBTC administration had not presented the full report generated by Voice TV to the committee to support the proposal from the subcommittee on content and scheduling. The issue of appropriate penalties was unclear, and the legality of the content aired during the programme was still debatable, in her view.

However, she acknowledged that the weak point of this news programme was that the hosts often expressed their own opinions while reading and analysing the news, so it was believed that they had taken sides.

Voice TV’s communications department issued a statement accepting the regulator’s decision and said it would comply with the order by replacing the programme with alternative content during the suspension.

The NBTC earlier suspended the two hosts of “Wake Up News”, ML Nattakorn Devakul and Atukkit Sawangsuk, for 10 days starting on August 15.

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