[Thailand] Broadcast and online guidelines released on and after October 13

The first guideline issued on 13 October 2016(1) states that:

1. All information regarding the death of the King via radio and television broadcast, satellite systems, or any other means must strictly follow the rules and regulations of the Royal Palace.

2. To broadcast feeds regarding the death of the King and the royal funeral, networks or channels must connect to the feed provided by the Television Pool of Thailand and the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand. Rebroadcasting such feed is not permitted without authorization.

3. All radio and television channels shall suspend entertainment programs for 30 days. All channels must take into account “appropriate” broadcasting to show appreciation toward the King’s compassion and take part in mourning his death.

The second guideline issued on 14 October 2016(2) states that:

1. Presentation of programs and advertisement in broadcast media should refrain from airing any element of entertainment, dancing, joy, violence, impoliteness, or overly expressed emotion for 30 days.

2. TV hosts, masters of ceremony, news anchors, and guests must wear black or white – preferably black – and appear composed.

3. Dissemination of information regarding the King’s death must be approved by responsible organizations only. The media must refrain from interpretation, analysis, and criticism of such information.

4. Photos and color used in broadcast media must be adjusted appropriately to suit the mourning atmosphere.

5. Broadcast operators must check content and presentation of foreign programs before airing.

6. Broadcast media must be ready to air the feed about the royal funeral from the press pool whenever instructed.

7. Licensees must check every broadcasted program to ensure that it follows guidelines Nos. 1 to 6 for 30 days starting from 13 October 2016.

The third guideline issued on 17 October 2016(3) states that:

1. All TV and radio stations must connect their broadcast signals to the Television Pool of Thailand when the TV Pool logo appears, and disconnect when the same logo reappears.

The connection is required when TV Pool broadcasts the royal praying service in the morning and in the evening, the attendance of members of royal family, or foreign monarchs.

This guideline also applies to stations that have online broadcast. When switching signal to the TV pool, the stations should have a prior narrative introduction to the program instead of abruptly switching.

2. During the 30-day mourning period, apart from the programs from TV Pool, broadcast media should provide a variety of content, such as current affairs, foreign news, programs for people’s development of all ages, the government’s activities, public administration, programs to foster education for society, innovation, technology, natural disaster, programs to foster people’s learning, foreign language education, public health, programs to cultivate people’s discipline, keeping clean, building civilized society and people. All these content shall provide English subtitles to enable expatriates to understand.

For the programs about King Bhumibol, it is recommended that the content shall cover:

  • Information for a program on his 4,000 royal development projects, which should cover the King’s advice on national development or interview those who are involved in the projects to honor King Bhumibol and reflect his greatness;
  • The King’s foreign visits to reflect his majesty’s benevolence on foreign affairs;
  • Interviews with royal scholarship students, who had already graduated on opportunities granted by the scholarship and how they wish to apply their gained experience to the national development;
  • Interviews with people who have experienced the transitional period between the reign of King Rama VIII and King Rama IX in order to reflect on the thinking of the old generation and the new generation and how they see the country moving forward;
  • The program regarding the royal heir and the formal title of the upcoming reign and the Regent – which were broadcast on 14 October 2016 on TV Pool – can be obtained for rebroadcast but criticism, interpretation, or additional comment are prohibited;
  • Broadcast of programs which are non-news – such as sports, soap opera, music, for children, or advertisement – are allowed but must follow the NBTC guidelines announced on October 13 and 14. Voice-over programs shall use appropriate tone and composed wording.

3. TV hosts, news anchors, and guests must wear a black- or white-colored attire – preferably have more black and must appear composed. Men’s hairstyle should be neat. Women shall tie their hair. All gestures, manners, words, and voice tone must be composed.

4. From now on until 30 days, everyone should maintain the atmosphere of mourning, sustain the intense level of respect and loyalty to the king shown by people from all walks of life in the society.

The live program on the royal praying service will broadcast on the first seven days from 14 to 20 October 2016. There will be no broadcast of the funeral service from 21 to 26 October 2016. The broadcast of the royal funeral service will resume on 27 and 28 October 2016, 1 and 2 December 2016, 20 and 21 January 2017.

To maintain the atmosphere of public mourning during these gaps, NBTC asks for the cooperation from TV and radio stations to create programs that keep the public engaged in the mourning.

5. The “Thailand Moving Forward” program will remain on air but its programming should be adjusted appropriately.

6. Social media accounts operated by TV and radio stations shall use reliable information in publishing and/or airing expressions of mourning about the King’s demise.

A guideline for Internet Service Providers – ISPs (4):

1. Strictly comply with the government policy regarding dissemination of information online.

2. Monitor, check, and immediately suspend or intercept inappropriate content. To coordinate with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Line, etc. to suspend or intercept inappropriate information immediately, or otherwise face prosecution.

3. Set up a special unit within an organization to monitor online information 24/7 and take a prompt action prescribed under No. 2 when inappropriate content is found; and report the action to the NBTC in a quick manner.

4. The NBTC will monitor online information 24/7 and if it finds any inappropriate content, it will directly file a complaint with the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) to prosecute those responsible for such content.


Unofficial translation by SEAPA

1NBTC Press Center. (2016, October 13). NBTC Minutes: Special meeting No. 1/2559. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2fCwLRv

2NBTC Press Center. (2016, October 14). NBTC Minutes: Special meeting No. 2/2559. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2fH2bZ7

3NBTC Press Center. (2016, October 17) Summary of the guideline for TV and Radio broadcast. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2fEhPCM

4NBTC Press Center. (2016, October 14). NBTC sent cooperation letters to ISPs requesting to follow the government guidelines and suspend inappropriate content, otherwise face prosecution. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2dTeRgJ

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