BETTER REGULATORY TOOLS IN PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM HARMFUL TV CONTENT IN THE AGE OF MEDIA CONVERGENCE: LESSONS FROM THAILAND
The study aimed to find a scope of harmful content in Thailand and to develop a plausible regulatory model to handle such content against the backdrop of media convergence. The methods used in this study were document analysis, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews with three stakeholder groups in Thailand’s media circle, namely broadcasting regulators, representatives from civil society and academics, and current TV providers. The study showed that Thai TV providers prioritized violence, sex and nudity, and coarse language in classification of TV content, whereas humiliation and discrimination content did not get much attention. Both informative and restrictive regulatory tools in protecting minors against harmful TV content had some limitations i.e. lack of a standardized rating system, broadcasting time restriction non-applicable to TV-like services, and parents unaware of using tools as a guide in supervising children. Key recommendations are proposed for ‘better regulation’ in protecting minors against harmful TV content under convergence in Thailand: 1) keeping a balance between informative and restrictive regulatory tools while supporting media literacy, 2) developing a community of practice among related parties and 3) promoting a more comprehensive policy based on a multi-stakeholder approach.
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