The meaning of the term ‘new media’ is still elusive. However, it can be said that new media is associated with information technology or the internet, and is an interactive form of communication. This book tries to explore the role of new media in social movements in Thailand, and how it will develop, through interviews with academics, journalists and activists. It is found that, among other things, new media has taken an increasingly important role in communication, challenging the conventional means of news consumption. Along with growing access to information technology, the number of new media users has increased. According to some interviewees, government policy should promote access to IT.
Currently, Thais still have limited access due to the lack of infrastructure such as the telephone and internet, and access to computers is still too costly for many Thais. New media in Thailand has not been well received by conventional media organizations which have raised doubts in terms of media ethics and the accuracy of information presented through new media. Particularly during the political crisis in Thailand since the coup in 2006, new media has been accused of being part of the instigation of conflicts by presenting unverified news and information. However, several interviewees also raised doubts about the ethics and accuracy of conventional media as well.
This publication is part of the Impact of New Media under the Political Crisis Project by the Foundation of Community Education Media (Prachatai website) under collaboration with Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia (Media for Democracy Programme).