BANGKOK — The BBC’s live broadcast was taken off air on Saturday as His Majesty the King’s coronation ceremony began.
Live segments by the Britain-based news agency were also censored yesterday – an omission that did not escape the attention of Thai viewers. The broadcast was replaced by an English text reading “programming will be resumed shortly” or other similar variants.
ข่าวบีบีซีบนช่องทรูถูกเซนเซอร์ตอนนี้ #ป #ไทย #สื่อ #censorshipCensorship of BBC news on True channel on coronation day. #Thailand
They’re blocking the BBC in Thailand again this morning – I’m assuming it’s a story about the Coronation. pic.twitter.com/65pKLN0mIH
— John Reed (@JohnReedwrites) May 3, 2019
The fact that the censorship came just a day after Thailand marked “press freedom day” also brought chuckles to some observers.
No reason was given for the censorship. It is unclear who gave the order to censor the coverage, though the local cable TV provider, TrueVision, has previously blacked out broadcasts by the BBC and other foreign media agencies that touched on sensitive subjects.
In the wake of the late King Bhumibol’s death in 2016, TrueVision took BBC and Al Jazeera live segments off its air. The firm even hired freelancers to help monitor their coverage and cut to the blackout screen whenever offending news clips began.