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Public told to stay alert in era of 'convergent' media

Oct 11. 2012
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By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation

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In the era of convergent media, society should monitor the media in three areas: content, the media's role and media ownership, Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) said at a seminar titled "Strategic on J


In the era of convergence, media are likely to produce “one content” to publish across platforms, which could lead to content being duplicated and a lack of variety in news, Somkiat said. 
“Not only should people monitor content, but they should constantly keep track of the proportion of content and advertising, which might be related to the content that the media presents. For example, advertising in the form of a tie-in with news content,” Somkiat said.
The media’s role is another point that audiences should be concerned about, the TDRI chief said. This not only refers to the role of the media in normal situations, but also the role of media in specific events and in crisis situations. 
“People should keep their eyes on these and criticise them if they do not play an appropriate role,” Somkiat said.
As advertising is now the major source of revenue for media, it might affect the way the media present news stories, the TDRI supremo said. Audiences should be aware of this and keep an eye on it, Somkiat said.
Another important point is the possible link between media ownership and news reporting. 
Media in Thailand are moving toward convergence, especially newspapers. Currently, most of the main newspapers are already expanding to run cable television stations, according to Somkiat. This phenomenon has one positive effect by creating more competition among media in broadcasting, where 70 per cent of total advertising spending in Thailand is based. 
In broadcasting media, “half the advertising budget is dominated by two main channels: Channel 3 and Channel 7,” Somkiat said.
Somkiat added that the convergence era is happening in four dimensions: devices, services, service providers (or media organisations) and regulations.
Convergence brings a “write once, publish everywhere” concept to the media business that requires journalists to have be multi-skilled, Somkiat said.

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