Today, news reports say the government is to disallow four media platforms from live coverage of the pro-democracy protests. They are The Reporter, Voice TV, The Standard, and Prachatai.
On top of this, the government also attempts to ban Telegram, an app that the protestors used to organize demonstrations.
This is how a democratic society works.
The government’s function is to protect and to provide.
To protect, the state has the military to protect the people from outside invaders. It has the police to protect people from criminals. Which means the government has a lot of guns, hence the power to kill
The state has to provide roads, water, electricity, schools, healthcare, etc. Which means it needs a lot of money. Hence, taxes.
The state is the most powerful institution in the land because it has guns and money.
As the saying goes, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The media’s function is to provide information to the people.
Information is knowledge. Knowledge is power.
The power to make decisions on who to vote for. The knowledge on whether or not the state abuses power, corrupts the country, and manipulates the people through propaganda.
The media acts as checks and balances. To check the power of the government and balance that power with the people.
To censor the media is to take away that power. Without knowledge, the populace is docile and easily controlled.
An intelligent population is well-informed. Not docile, nor easily controlled.
The function of the people.
To live our lives. To study, work, have fun, have families, vote, obey the (democratic) laws, and pay taxes.
In Thailand, we refer to buffalos as dumb animals because they are docile and easily controlled.
The Prayut Chan-o-cha government wants to rule over a land of buffaloes. Therefore, it wants to censor the media.
This is how the media works in a dictatorship.
The state spoonfeeds propaganda into the media’s mouth. The media defecates the propaganda onto the heads of the people.