Matichon (มติชน, lit. 'The Popular Consent'/'The Popular Opinion') has been one of the most influential newspapers in Thailand for the past 30 years
Matichon was founded in 1978, when the scars of the pro-establishment attack on Thammasart University on 6 October 1976 – which killed scores of student activists – were still fresh, and Thailand was slowly emerging from the short-lived authoritarian government installed by a miliary coup in the wake of the massacre. It was under this atmosphere, and the heritage of idealism and political activism sprouted by the monumental student uprising in October 1973, that Matichon started its profession as a political newspaper.
Due to its heavy focus on political reporting and 'hard news', its serious tone, and its popularity among middle-class intellectuals, Matichon was nicknamed a 'black-and-white newspaper' ('สื่อหัวขาวดำ') as opposed to 'colorful newspaper' ('สื่อหัวสี') which described other dominant tabloid and mass-oriented newspapers at the time, such as Thai Rath and Daily News. The newspaper's slogan is 'Quality Newspaper For Quality of the Nation' (หนังสือพิมพ์คุณภาพ เพื่อคุณภาพของประเทศ).
Both daily and weekly editions of Matichon boast contributions by numerous prominent writers whose roles have shaped and sparked debates in Thai opinion sphere for years, namely: archaeologist Sujit Wongtese, historian Nidhi Eawsriwongse, and social critic and feminist Kam Paka.
Matichon has seen a history perhaps as turbulent as that of the country it devotes itself in covering; the newspaper had been threatened by authorities, accused of biases by opposing members of the public, and even almost absorbed into a larger media conglomerate thanks to the attempted 'hostile takeover' in 2005, which failed after a widespread opposition by concerned citizens.
Matichon has not only survived its many challenges, but also continued to thrive and expand into a major multi-business media outlet of Thailand. Today, Matichon Group owns 3 daily newspapers, Matichon, Khaosod, and Prachachat Business; a weekly edition; a magazine about Thai culture and history; a magazine on career advices for farmers; the rapidly growing news website of Matichon Online; and a satellite TV channel.
Apart from media business, Matichon Group also owns and operates Matichon Academy, which offers career-building courses such as catering and handicraft, and Ngarndee company, a publishing house and distribution agency.
Khaosod English is merely a part of the initiatives to explore another capacity of Matichon Group in news coverage amid the fast-changing tides of the 21st century.