Mass Media Essay by MaryJeanMenintigar

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Chair: Malee Boonsiripunth, Thammasat University,

Mekong Community TV: The Beginning of International News Cooperation
Attanan Tachopisalwong, PhD Student, Thammasat University

       Nowadays, the international news is necessary for living. Whenever something happens, other
       part of the world will be affected. However, the truth is the information that flows around the
       world is controlled by limited source-- the western news agency.

       ITV, the one of Thai television stations began the Mekong Community TV project a year ago.
       This project aimed to balance the information from western and eastern world, especially the
       information from the member TV stations of the four countries in cooperation: TV 5 from
       Cambodia, HTV from Vietnam, LTN from Loas and GXTV from China.

       The objectives of this paper was to understand MCTV project about the beginning, the goals,
       the process and the form of operation, threat and the future of this project.

       Due to the limited sources of information on the topic, the depth-interview method was
       chosen for data collection. Mr.Chip Jitniyom, an international news editor of TITV television
       station (the new name of ITV station) and one of the project founders was interviewed. Then
       the information from interview would be synthesized and analyzed.

       The study found three ways of obtaining the news: satellite news, sending reporter to get the
       news and loose bilateral cooperation from the local news agent. The obstacles for cooperation
       included the different levels of performance, political background, and different language.

       The project emerged from the attempt to release more news from the east to the west for a
       bigger proportion in the news contribution from the eastern world, in order to provide a
       genuine free flow of information.

The Operational Process of ' Bannok TV' Community Television
Laddawan Inthajakra, Faculty of Mass Communication, Chiang Mai University

       Five years ago, the Mirror Art Group, an NGO working toward the goal of establishing a
       grassroot multimedia NGO center in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai, operated one
       of its projects for the Akha community in Mae Yao sub-district. This project called “Bannok
       TV” was the first pilot project of community television in Thailand. It broadcasted at night
       approximately half an hour everyday except on Sunday since August 1 st, 2002. Supported by
       the World Bank, the Group bought a 5-watt low power transmitter to broadcast its various
       programs in UHF band. Working with the hilltribes from different cultural identity was not
       easy, the Group faced several weaknesses and threats. To be able to create effective and
       outstanding work from different cultural ground, it’s necessary to study the positive and
       negative factors regarding this Thai community television pilot project. The objectives of this
       qualitative research were

       I) to study the Group’s operational process, II) to find out the degree of participation, and III)
       to analyze the factors that affected the operational process of this first pilot community
       television project. In constructing a theoretical framework, this study used two perspectives of
       communication ; community broadcasting and democratic-participant media theory. The
       study found that I) in the operational process, there were some procedures different from the
       commercial television style and it put an attempt to focus on public participation as expected
       in the ideal community media, II) the degree of participation was quite low : the community
       was an audience, production staff, but not the planner, as a result, they couldn’t experience
      the feeling of “media ownership”, III) both internal and external factors could affect the
      operational process positively and negatively. The study suggested that the upcoming ideal
      community television in the Thai context will be successful when the media reform is well
      advanced and publicized, well established method of licensing for spectrum allocation is
      enforced, sustainable funds are provided, degree of community participation is upgraded,
      strong networking is created, and an effective evaluation of the project is performed.

Thai Cultural Impacts from Transitional Popular Culture: A Case Study of Japanese and
Korean Media
Saran Singhton, PhD Student, Thammasat University

      Hundred years ago, “ Imperialism ” is a way of domination through ideology of power and
      war. In the process of imperialism, it shows dynamics of political relationships driven by
      power domination, mostly from the more powerful colonizers to the less powerful colonized.

      But nowadays, in new face, “ Imperialism ” means differently from original’s view, especially
      in styles, processes and channels. This modern imperialism is strong and systematic effort at
      globalizing the world. It has developed into the most sophisticated and most effective form of
      “Cultural imperialism” and “Media imperialism”. Both of them have been utilized as political
      and economic apparatus of any powerful groups, particularly from developed countries to
      developing countries.

      In era of Globalization, trade liberalization, transnationalization of mass media and global
      communication technology play a central role in the functioning of consumer society, in the
      way of imperialists.

      Among global crises, Thai society being affected by cultural imperialism and media
      imperialism from foreign countries. Replacement of new values and habits in Thai social and
      cultural system have been mainly derived from the process of media and communication
      technology. This leads to cultural and spiritual commodities containing ideology of
      capitalism, which is shaping market, state and culture to support it. They are also express to
      be extremely dangerous because they create unbalance, desperation and extravagance of Thai
      people, both at the local and national level.

      At the present time, Thailand’s problems with globalization as cultural and media imperialism
      that are the power of Americanization, Japanization and Koreanization, which dominate
      everything in Thai societies to fall apart. Cultural imperialism and media imperialism, of
      course, are complex processes, producing contradictory effects in changing relations of power
      and lifestyles. Thai people, as victims, have been unconsciously brainwashed by
      transnationalized mass media channels through mainstream of entertainment and popular
      cultural business. These influence vehemently to Thai society which labeled “ Political
      economy of cultural domination ”.

      However, Thailand’s situation on cultural imperialism and media imperialism might be
      forecasted into two aspects that are as dilemma and as way out. Thailand’s Communication
      structure, as dilemma, has been devastated in term of respectfully traditional and standard
      leading to enormous material problems. It makes new socialization under order of
      imperialism, not only social and cultural disorder but weakness of communication system. As
      Anthony Giddens ( 1987 ) claimed that :

      “ … That is to say, for example, we don’t really have normally viable ways of handling
      sickness, death, existential crises of life, because they’re undercut by   the very nature of
      the world we live in, which is based on the idea of technology and control … we live in
      day - to – day lives in which for most of what we do         we can’t give any reason. …. It’s
      hard to say why we do these things … ”
       In turn, nowadays, in form of Thai’s mass media, it might be understood as Gramsci’s
       concept of hegemony that it works through both commercial and authentic at every level. It,
       therefore, still stands without causing too much trouble any system by its hybridity. Also, as
       Nederveen Pieterse ( 1995 ) stated that :

       “ ….Contemporary acceleration globalization means the hybridization of hybrid
       cultures…. ”

       This wide range of essay makes an important critical thinking on cultural and media
       imperialism in Thailand, in globalized world. It expresses growing modern imperialism
       actions, effected to Thai society especially mass media and Thai people’s lifestyles. Perhaps
       most importantly, they also grant compelling evidence between these modern imperialism and
       Thai crises at domination from imperialists’ countries.

Attitudes and Behaviors towards Thai Television
PhD. Students, Thammasat University

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