Nation Group: the Real Thing
What precisely is a "news station"? Or more simply: what's a "news programme"? With the mushrooming of TV "news talks" that basically involve reading yesterday's news to a TV audience, the Nation Multimedia Group has decided that the trend has gone as far as it should.
The group has announced a policy to provide news programmes as they are supposed to be. A defiant slogan - "We are the Real Thing" - has been coined to provoke a new environment in an industry that has become too complacent when it comes to informing their audience.
Group editor in chief Suthichai Yoon is leading a group of veteran television reporters, including Thepchai Yong and Kanok Ratwongsakul, in TV news programmes produced by the Nation Multimedia Group - programming that he thinks should return to the proven fundamental basics of television news.
Suthichai said the Nation Multimedia Group was using the slogan "We Are the Real Thing" as a message to the public.
"We want the audience to know what's real and what's not," he said. "Now, a number of TV news programme producers merely hire people to read newspapers from dusk to dawn. At the same time, the people don't sufficiently debate what is happening. But we journalists should not feel content with that."
The trend can be a slippery slope, he warned, as passive reporting can lead to a passive audience.
"Should TV news programmes be this way?" he said. "TV producers are not fulfilling their duties in analysing what's classified as news. And once the audience becomes familiar with this type of so-called reporting, they won't bother to question or scrutinise the news. They think that this is enough. From the perspective of the real news people, what's happening is just not right."
Suthichai said some television news programmes read the morning newspapers to their audience, while in fact the events in the newspapers happened more than 12 hours ago. They do not add any comment or extra information.
"In fact, TV producers should find out stories and interview people," he said. "They should dig out updated and in-depth stories from what the newspapers have reported."