The research aims at examining the roles of Thai news media in covering political conflict and violence in the southern border provinces of Thailand by questioning how the vigorous discursive contention among protagonists in the conflict, journalism professionalism, as well as the complexity and dynamics of news ecology contour the conflict mediatization.
Apart from exploring news media content to investigate how the conflict has been portrayed, the researcher aims at employing ethnographic studies of news production to examine the influence of journalism professionalism and news organisation culture, the interactions between journalists and their sources, and the interplay between journalism and politics on the coverage of the continuing conflict. This study also aims at teasing out the complexity in Thai news ecology by looking at how the variation of journalistic presentations and principles is played out in conflict reporting.
This research also seeks to provide grounds for arguing and demonstrating that Thai journalists may not always act as a passive player who simply report, or ‘mediate,’ the southern conflict and violence. There appears to be pivotal moments when the news media ‘mediatize’ the ongoing conflict – the actions which sometimes resulted in peaceful consequences, and sometimes unconstructive repercussions. At the same time, as the violence progresses, journalists demonstrate reflexivity in their practices and performance – a development that sometimes signals their intention to carry out desirable roles in respect of political conflict and violence. The analysis of the Thai news media’s dynamic roles in one of the country’s most damaging and complex conflicts is, therefore, important in its own terms but also as an opportunity to study in-depth journalism’s roles in politics and conflicts involving violence more generally.
Journalism practices and the sociology of journalism; the roles of journalism in democratic societies; alternative, community, and citizen media; media policy and regulations
Before attending the doctoral programme at JOMEC, Phansasiri was a journalism lecturer at Faculty of Communication Arts of the Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University, who also sponsors her academic pursuit.
Apart from her previous studies on blogging and citizen journalism in Thailand, she participated in a collaborative research with media advocacy groups which projected the future of Thai media in the next decade, and the writing of a conflict reporting guidelines manual produced by the Thai Journalists Association.
Prior to joining academia, she had taken on a diverse set of roles in national and international television news organisations, from news editor and writer to affiliate coordinator.
Phansasiri graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with the emphasis on Journalism from Chulalongkorn University, and a Masters in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts.