Media VS. Media (Thailand Edition)

By Agnes Escobar. The biggest news that is surrounding Thailand country right now is the Death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was the longest reigning monarch, ruling for 70 years. His health has been a big concern to the people of Thailand for many years and has recently passed at the age of 88. As a big leader of this country it is obvious to see many news media’s coming out with news reports and pieces on his recent passing.


I wanted to take moment and see how news reporting on a specific event or country, takes effect in media outlets. News media companies will have a different views on the same topic. So I compared and contrasted USA Today’s broadcast and Al Jazeera‘s Broadcast on the King’s death.

The Main difference that I caught on right away, was the tone that these reports were played on. The USA Today’s emphasis was directed more on the great accomplishments and awards he received, along with the glorious depiction his country had of him. This produced an image of a good and kind ruler. It showcased is love for American music, which right away told that he was an ally of the U.S. After looking more in depth I saw that the U.S. has had a large partnership with Thailand due to it being a secure ally of the government. This really put into perspective that most U.S. outlets would probably only comment on his law and state the facts, than straight out disapprove on media. All that was quickly ended with a reminder on how he was revered by the Thailand people.

On the contrary, Al Jazeera’s repot was very fact based with more professional touch, than a sentimental goodbye video. It introduced the history of Thailand and the affect the king had on it. Followed by stating a few of his good accomplishments and promptly moving on to the major piece he played in the countries government. They informed of the relationship he had with the U.S., which further confirmed the ties the U.S. had. They did emphasize on how activist were concerned about his defamation law and all the coups that had taken place. All this showed that Al Jazeera was not taking part in going against or being in favor, but was just doing its job of reporting facts.

They did both mention the mysterious death of his older brother that lead him to gain the throne, and stated the lese majeste laws that are practiced in Thailand. Even with this included, the way the story was presented was different.

After reviewing both sides it’s obvious that the ownership of these media outlets and the country they are derived from plays apart on how the story will be portrayed. The USA Today report was a mere minute and 47 seconds all delivered with a grand view of the King. While the Al Jazeera report was a little over four minutes in length and focused more on the political role the king played on the country.


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