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Thailand: New look and agenda for government-run TV channel

In early-2008, Channel 11 was changed to NBT (National Broadcast Television, see Wikipedia). Channel 11 is Thailand's oldest TV channel run by the government's Public Relations Department (PRD). This change was done under ex-PM Thaksin's supporting party to counter the change of another TV channel, Thai PBS, under the Coup government before in early-2007.

Now that the opposing Democrat party is ruling the country, is it time to ‘change’ the NBT again?

Satit Wongnongtaey, Minister for Office of the Prime Minister who takes charge of the PRD told the press about “the reformation of NBT” which aims to start on 1 April 2009. The “new NBT” will have a totally-new program, new logo and new board. The new program will reduce the portion of news from 12 hour/day to 7 hour/day. The addition programs will be “knowledge” programs.

Satit gave more examples of the new programs: programs that focus on economics and labour problem, programs to solve the national reconciliation and harmony, and creative/moral programs. The old NBT staff will remain as the main producing staff for the new NBT.

While mentioning that the new NBT will not broadcast the “controversy” news, Satit insisted that the New NBT is not the initiative against Thaksin and will not be the reward for anti-Thaksin movement keyplayers.

From Prachatai (in Thai)

One good comment from Kapook, Thailand second biggest portal, member (comment #24):

I'm one of the producer for NBT channel. My program broadcasts once a week. Everytime the government changes, the new government comes and changes NBT schedule, move lots of program. I'm very bored with this. My audience will have to change their watching habit and time. Once they get used to the new timeslot, new government comes and changes it again.

The topic forum in Pantip, biggest forum site in Thailand, wonders why Satit needs to change NBT logo. One poster claims the source from NBT person that the NBT staff are the ones who ask for the new logo, not Satit himself.

The new logo contest comes from NBT staff. Their reason is the old logo is too aligned for one political side (Thaksin's) and they are not proud of being NBT people anymore under the old NBT logo.

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