ABSTRACT

This chapter will explore a number of questions with relation to the Thai language press: What constitutes ‘political news’? Where does political news come from? How is it assembled in the newsroom? What are the relationships between political reporters, columnists and editors? How do newspaper people relate to politicians and other political actors? The Thai press will be viewed as a political actor in its own right, pursuing an independent agenda. As Cook notes, this view of the media has been largely neglected: journalists have been very successful in downplaying the extent of their political influence, while political scientists have failed to take the power of the media seriously.1 The main focus of this chapter will be the leading daily Thai Rath. Thai language newspapers have a hierarchical structure; nowhere is this more evident than in their approach to the coverage of political news. One way of understanding this approach is to view it in terms of a set of dichotomies, or corollaries.