Guidelines for News Coverage of Beliefs and Superstitions

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Chanettee Tinnam
Metha Sereethanawong
Jessada Salathong
Tortrakool Ubolwatra
Visawat Panyawongsataporn


As a multicultural society, Thailand embraces a variety of cultural beliefs. Furthermore, common practices of Thai people are characterized by beliefs and superstitions that confer their own distinctiveness; this is the other side of the coin that virtually reflects the act of violence. Thai society is afflicted with numerous detrimental effects caused by news coverage on superstitious beliefs. These include gambling, frauds, and exploitation of goods and services. The Thai media should offer a balance between presenting cultural diversity within the context of these beliefs and superstitions that still exist in society. Accordingly, as a watchdog, the content relating to beliefs and superstitions should be screened in order to eliminate the harmful effects on society. This study thus seeks to formulate comprehensive guidelines for mass media entities regarding the presentation of belief-relevant content. In accordance with methodologies, this involves a comprehensive analysis of relevant documents and television content, as well as focus group discussions. The findings of the study demonstrated that there are six aspects of media ethics that can be used to regulate programs of news reporting on digital television to be presented to the media regulation body of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) in Thailand. The six aspects are exhibited within the framework of the following principles: accuracy, objectivity, human rights, diversity, balance and fairness, and social responsibility.

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