Community television in Thailand: The new challenge of community media in an online world
The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for the Public Interest (BTFP) affiliated of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) granted three community televisions (CTVs) in 3 regions to conduct research about their services and operations and introduced as CTV prototypes. The grant comes with conditions such as having to comply with the guideline for community television principles, but interestingly, the CTVs have to find the broadcasting channel by themselves. Therefore, CTVs have adopted the ‘Go online’ approach to pursue their broadcasting activities. This is an ongoing challenge for CTVs to use an online platform to broadcast physical community contents. This study found that the CTV prototypes frequently use online manners, such as Post and Share, more than traditional TV broadcasting manners. Most of the sources are from CTVs own production and the outside community, while contents are dominated by community happenings and community warnings and security more than community identity and community business. The official sources are used more than ordinary people sources. There is a very limited of interactions from the CTVs prototypes toward their audiences. The limitations of the operations of CTVs to represent their communities' identities and values. This might limit the establishment of a sense of place and engagement to audiences, particularly those ordinary or voiceless members.