News Ombudsman in Media Organizations: A Challenge to Thailand Media Self-Regulation
The purpose of this study was to examine the challenge of Thailand media self-regulation through news
ombudsman, which included the international practices of news ombudsman and the factors which might support or hinder
this self-regulation mechanism. The study applied document analysis and in-depth interviews. Ten news editors and executive
editors of both newspaper and broadcasting media were the key informants in this study. The findings showed that in Thailand
both newspapers and broadcasting media had set up news ombudsman committees in their organizations. While the Thai
Press Council was the key organization initiating this system of self-regulation among its members, broadcasting media on the
other hand were required by NBTC regulation to establish this organ. In the U.S., news ombudsmen usually were former
senior editors and working alone, whereas in Japan they worked in the form of committees. In both countries, the news
ombudsman not merely received and considered complaints from readers/audiences but monitored the coverage and contents
of media productions. The factors affecting the work of self-regulation by news ombudsman included: the policy of media
organizations, internal communication among its staff, especially editorial staff, freedom of news ombudsman and their
understanding of media professionalism, as well as clearly stated guidelines, rules and directions of self-regulation. The main
goal will be self-regulation to enhance media credibility and accountability.
Index Terms - News ombudsman, self-regulation, mass media organization, Thailand.