The objectives were to study forms of political communication networks built by journalists in Songkhla, Thailand and content that was transmitted through those networks. This was a qualitative research based on in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with 2 groups of key informants, 16 administrative-level journalists (including news editors, managing editors, TV or radio station directors, enterprise owners, and division heads) and 16 operations-level journalists (including reporters, program hosts, and people responsible for website content). Data were analyzed by descriptive analysis. The results showed that 1.there were 2 main forms of political communication networks: 1) officially established networks with shared activities and exchanges; the networks that were formed via group-making on the Line application were rather tightly bonded with a large number of members representing various parts of society. This type of network is compatible with the principles for building, maintaining and expanding official networks. The government public relations department personnel would invite these networks to press conferences. 2) Informal networks, which are naturally-occurring, freely formed networks usually originating from people working at the same place and forming friendships or being acquainted in some other capacity. Content transmitted were 1) news to encourage the public to participate in politics, especially by voting in local and national elections; with news about the elections presented neutrally; 2) news and information directly from the Election Committee; 3) news about how politicians in Songkhla Thailand were following through with implementing their policies, both on a local and national level; and 4) news about citizens’ problems or concerns that should be addressed by the local administrative organizations.
Supaporn Sridee, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Thailand
Stream: Political Communication and Satire
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