Journalists in Thailand and their disciplinary action towards the ethics of news reporting

Authors

ศ.ดร.ยุบล เบ็ญจรงค์กิจ

Published

งานประชุมวิชาการนานาชาติ 2015 Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) Convention, Institute of Communication Studies and Media Research. Munich, Germany.

Abstract

Backgrounds of Journalists

In Thailand, the typical journalist is male, in their late thirties and holds a university
degree in a field of journalism or communication. Among journalists that were
interviewed, 161 were women, making for a proportion of 43.8 percent of the overall
sample. The average age for a Thai journalist was 37.19 years (s=11.33), while three
quarters of the sample were under the age of 30. Over 80 percent of journalists are
holders of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree; 70.9 percent of the respondents held a
Bachelor’s degree, and another 10.7 percent earned a Master’s degree. There were no
journalists who had completed a Doctoral degree in this study. Almost one in seven
Thai journalists finished education at the high school level (14.7%) and 3.7 percent
did not complete their studies. Among those respondents who held a university
degree, one in seven (14.5%) had specialized in journalism, a third of them had
studied in another communication field (33.4%), and 16.9 percent had specialized in
both journalism and another communication field.

Journalists in the Newsroom

More than half of the journalists interviewed in Thailand held a full-time position
(66.5%), whereas 13.7 percent of the respondents were employed on a part-time basis,
with 18.2 percent working as freelance journalists. The Thai survey did not ask
whether their positions were permanent or temporary.
In terms of professional experience, Thai journalists were somewhat inexperienced.
On average, they had worked as journalists for 7.51 years (s=7.19), and slightly fewer
than half of the respondents had less than five years of professional experience (47.9%).
Most journalists worked on a variety of topics and subjects (71.8%).Those who worked
on a specific desk (28.2%) covered news related to current affairs, sports,
entertainment, or economy. Journalists that reported focusing on politics, domestic
or foreign affairs, or both, numbered ten out of the entire sample. Overall, Thai
journalists worked for 1.71 newsrooms (s=1.42); many of them also had secondary
employment in areas other than journalism (38.8%). Slightly less than a half were
members of a professional association (45.3%).
The majority of Thai journalists in the sample either worked in radio (39.6%), mostly
local, or television (25.4%), mostly national. 14.7 percent worked for a daily newspaper.
A few journalists in the sample reported working for news agencies (6.7%), for online
newsrooms of traditional media (1.6%) and for stand-alone online news sites (4.5%)

Journalists in Thailand and their disciplinary action towards the ethics of news reporting. งานประชุมวิชาการนานาชาติ 2015 Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) Convention, Institute of Communication Studies and Media Research. Munich, Germany., งานประชุมวิชาการนานาชาติ 2015 Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) Convention, Institute of Communication Studies and Media Research. Munich, Germany. (1-5).