THE NEAR-FUTURE PRESS DAILY
JUNTALAND — After the righteous Media Reform Bill was passed in 2017 to guarantee press freedoms, abuses by scribes unsympathetic with the selfless efforts of their rightful and selfless government became a thing of the past.
With a sudden hiring spree at newly understaffed media outlets for nation-minded professionals to share the correct understanding of things, the National Media Reform Council this day made public its certification exam for prospective journalist-patriots.
Being a bona fide and legal journalist depends upon answering these 10 questions correctly. (Some questions may have more than one correct answer!)
A) What is a journalist’s primary responsibility?
- To report truthfully, fairly and scrutinize the powers that be
- To serve advertisers in producing advertorials
- To obey the media owner in whatever tasks are instructed
- To promote the government by defending and disseminating its policies without scrutiny
B) If there was to be a military coup again, what would you do as a journalist?
- Report truthfully and fairly about what is happening
- Write a column condemning the illegitimate seizure of power
- Wait for further instruction from the coup leader as to what is appropriate and correct reporting
- Avoid expressing disapproval, as such reporters could be pressured to leave or fired from the news organization to not cause trouble for the rest of its staff
C) If a senior Thai government official is caught stealing something while on an official trip abroad and it is reported by foreign news agency, what should your news organization do?
- Report it, dig further and try to explain why the man did it
- Check with the government if the news item should be reported domestically
- Defend the official. It’s clearly entrapment on the part of vicious foreign agents wanting to discredit the good name of Thailand.
- Call it Fake News. After all, all Thais are good people.
D) What is your ideal foreign news organization?
- The Guardian of London
- New Light of Myanmar
- China’s CCTV
- KCNA (North Korean Central News Agency)
E) What do you think of the lese majeste law?
- The law is archaic and against freedom of expression and press freedom and should be amended, if not abolished.
- One of the best laws in the world. It guarantees absolute self-censorship and fear.
- I may not agree with the law, but do I have a choice?
- It could be better. Those found guilty, be they journalist or foreign diplomat, should be summarily executed.
F) What do you think of the CCA?
- Is that the Commercial Crime Act or Computer Crime Act? I’m not sure.
- No need to worry as long as you are a good and law-abiding citizen.
- It’s best to just ask Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha about this.
- In case Prayuth wasn’t clear or spoke incoherently, ask Prayuth again. Or one of his deputies.
G) What is to be done with the journalists and media organizations who opposed the Media Reform Act when it was proposed a few months ago?
- Nothing. They merely expressed honest opinions about its effects.
- Withhold media professional licenses from them for six months as punishment.
- They have been misled by foreign states about press freedom. Need to be re-educated so they can be more Thai.
- They should be investigated. Did Thaksin Shinawatra fund them?
H) Who should journalists obey?
- Journalists should first and foremost listen to his or her conscience.
- Media Owners
- Government. Because if you don’t, you license might not be renewed.
I) If foreign states and human rights groups criticize the Media Reform Act as undermining press freedom by requiring journalists to obtain a revocable license from a bureaucrat-loaded committee, what will you say?
- Guilty as charged.
- Tell them they don’t understand Thailand and Thai-style press.
- Tell them we are content and happy with the situation under Dear Junta Leader’s benevolent and very-very-long-term guidance.
- Tell them to mind their own f…ing business.
J) If you fail the test and are unable to obtain a professional media license, what would you do?
- Conclude that I am not fit to be a journalist in Juntaland.
- Visit holier shrines and be a more generous supplicant. Then take the test again.
- Pray for regime change in hope the law will be scrapped.
- Try bribing national media commissioners or seek Thai-style nepotism services.
- Cheat on the exam the next time around. Better still, get someone with the right attitude to sit it for me.