Activist Srisuwan Janya has petitioned the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) opposing former newscaster Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda’s plan to resume his role on Channel 3, saying it is against the news profession’s ethical code to allow the former anchor to take a lead role in presenting news on air again.
The newsman, sentenced to eight years in January 2020 in an advertising revenue embezzlement case, was released from Bangkok Remand Prison in March.
Sorrayuth was forced to wear an electronic monitoring (EM) device before he was released. He is required to wear it at all times until his parole ends on May 20 next year.
He received two sentence reductions after His Majesty the King granted inmate amnesties on Father’s Day and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great’s birthday.
Sorrayuth’s eight-year sentence for embezzling 138 million baht in advertising fees from the Mass Communications Organisation of Thailand (MCOT), was reduced to one year, two months and six days thanks to the royal pardons and subsequent parole under the Corrections Act.
Mr Srisuwan, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, on Tuesday cited Sections 34 and 35 of the constitution, dealing with media freedom and media profession ethics, to back his opposition to Sorrayuth’s comeback bid.
People in the news profession must set good moral standards and must not behave in a way which impugns the integrity of the profession, he said.
He petitioned the NBTC to examine carefully whether Sorrayuth should be allowed to go on air again or not.
Channel 3 has announced that Sorrayuth, currently an adviser to the channel’s news programmes, will become one of five news anchors fronting new news programmes aired by the channel.
At the launch of the programmes, Sorrayuth said Channel 3 aimed to become the leader in all platforms of news reporting and presenting.
Surin Krittayaphongphan, a director of television business management at BEC World Plc, said he was glad Sorrayuth will resume his role on the Ruang Lao Chao Ni (This morning’s stories) and Ruang Lao Sao Arthit (Weekend stories) programmes.