Thai PBS Director General Wilasinee Phiphitkul delivering the annual report of the public broadcaster to the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Law-makers commended the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) on Thursday for its independent news coverage and educational programming, but called on Thailand’s leading public broadcaster to find ways to improve its audience ratings.
They also want to see Thai PBS produce more content promoting media literacy, in the wake of a proliferation of misinformation and fake news.
The suggestions came during a House meeting to hear the annual report from the management of Thai PBS, Thailand’s first public service broadcaster.
Addressing the chamber, Thai PBS Director General Wilasinee Phiphitkul pointed out how the public broadcaster has covered major events in the past year in a way which distinguished it from other media outlets, including the Bangkok gubernatorial elections in May last year, the recent general election and the flooding that hit the country last year.
She said its news content, especially in times of crisis, has earned Thai PBS recognition for its editorial independence. She also referred to the annual Reuters digital reports on global media organisations, which ranked Thai PBS as among the most trusted media outlets in Thailand from 2020-2023.
She highlighted some of the broadcaster’s educational, entertainment and children’s programming, which have won a series of prestigious awards.
In coping with the challenge of digital disruption and fragmented audiences, Wilasinee also emphasised the public broadcaster’s digital strategy, which will help it reach wider audiences across a broad range of platforms.
Commenting on the Thai PBS report, many MPs praised the broadcaster for its public service, which they described as educational, reliable and inclusive. They agreed that Thai PBS news coverage has been independent and comprehensive, while its entertainment and children’s programming are distinctive.
Some of the law-makers, however, raised the broadcaster’s relatively low viewer numbers and urged it to do more to reach a wider audience. They also called on Thai PBS to create more content that addresses bread and butter issues and helps to promote media literacy, especially among children.
They also raised concerns over the long-term funding of Thai PBS, which is financed with an annual tax earmark of 2 billion baht, considering the gradual increase in its expenditure.
Addressing the concerns, Chirmsak Pinthong, chairman of the Board of Governors of Thai PBS, said that Thai PBS has plans to secure additional sources of financing through content and production partnerships.
On the issue of audience ratings, Chirmsak explained that providing diverse and inclusive content, which addresses the public interest, is a priority for a public service broadcaster.
Source: Thai PBS World