18 October 2016

"Programming will return shortly..."

King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Thursday after a seventy-year reign, marking the end of an era in the modern history of Thailand, and extensive tributes to him have appeared in both Thai and international media. There have also been profiles of his heir, the Crown Prince, including a 14th October article in The Guardian.

Thailand's lèse-majesté law has been enforced particularly strictly by the current military government, leading to increasing self-censorship by journalists within the country. TrueVisions, the cable TV monopoly, is interrupting BBC World News whenever the channel broadcasts sensitive content, replacing the signal with a euphemistic caption: "Programming will return shortly."

The Financial Times has a correspondent based in Bangkok, though his recent reports have not been bylined. The Economist doesn't distribute editions with sensitive content in Thailand. The New York Times (which ceased printing in Bangkok last year) has published sensitive pieces only by writers outside Thailand.

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