BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by caller » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:14 pm

margaretcarnes wrote:A difficult one - Head has crossed the line many times and really should know better by now. It's as if the BBC have let him act like a lose canon in Thailand, because they should have known what he was getting into, and the risks.
As his employer the Beeb maybe believes it can sort out the mess Head is in, but if so it underestimates the way things work.
What we don't know though is how much freedom Head has been allowed in digging for his stories, and whether he has overstepped his BBC remit. If he has overstepped the mark do they abandon him to Thai justice? The alternative would appear to be that the BBC tries to accept responsibility, and I don't believe that would work.
Head has been doing his job as a journalist, or as much as anyone is allowed here. I don't view him as a loose cannon or having crossed a line and the mess he is in is solely as a result of laws that don't exist anywhere else. If he hadn't filed the story he did, which the beeb editors were clearly happy with, then whilst those in Thailand would have already been aware of this, largely thanks to Drummond, a wider audience wouldn't have been.

When this matter was first reported on a couple of months or so ago. The beeb issued a statement that they were fully standing by Head. Nothing has changed in that respect. I think there's more at stake here than Head's fate. It's about the future of independent journalism not just in Thailand, but many other places and this has the potential to become a test case.

Phuketwan went out of business because of similar prosecutions, even though they were cleared. The Bangkok Post and other media outlets don't have the balls to stand up for what they believe is right and are a waste of space as a consequence, so maybe it needs a global organisation like the beeb to come along and be the standard bearer. Let's see who blinks first.
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by dundrillin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:18 pm

Spot on Caller. Free press show what the politicians should be doing. Good for the BBC

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by StevePIraq » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:14 pm

One of his Les Majeste cases is that he did not put the photo of the King at the top of his article as is required under Thai rules for the press, so what can he expect. Do you really think the BBC can do anything, no they can't, he is not a BBC employee he is a freelance journalist and the BBC while they may support him take no responsibility for his action.

The same is happening in Egypt with Al Jazeera and their representative who is held. They can only support him.
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by caller » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:47 am

Are you sure he is freelance? He seems to have been with the beeb since 1991.

And you're wrong about what the BBC can and should do and they certainly cannot 'take any responsibility for his actions, as you claim'. If he is an employee they actually have various legal responsibilities under UK employment law, including a duty of care. I would suggest that applies even if he is freelance as long as he hasn't acted outside of his remit and their guidelines. But they have twice stated they are supporting him so that really deals with that in any case.

I doubt the embassy are sitting idly by on this one, for a change and let's see how it pans out. I suspect the case will be thrown out, thus saving Thai face - judicial process followed etc. To be honest, it's a bit of an own goal trapping him in Thailand - who else can he report on now?
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by HHTel » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:54 am

:agree:
He's certainly been with the BBC since 1991 and has had many titles with them.

Wiki:
"Head joined the BBC in 1991, initially working for the BBC World Service international radio network and BBC World (now BBC World News) international satellite and cable television channel, before becoming BBC Indonesia Correspondent in 1996. He became BBC South East Asia Correspondent, based in Bangkok, in 2000, and BBC Tokyo Correspondent in 2003. He reported on the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand, and returned to South East Asia in 2006 to report from a range of countries including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma and East Timor.
In Thailand, Head became Vice President of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT), and in 2008 was investigated for a possible charge of lèse-majesté, insulting the King of Thailand, by a police colonel, Watanasak Mungkijakarndee, who claimed that Head's reporting between 2006 and 2008 had "damaged and insulted the monarchy",[2] and was warned that he could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty in a Thai courthouse[3][4] In 2009, he became BBC Turkey Correspondent, based in Istanbul, and in 2011 reported from Libya during the country’s uprising, including the siege of Sirte, the birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of Libya. He became BBC South East Asia Correspondent in August 2012, for the third time in his career.[5][6]"

Recent report in Oz seems to point to him being a BBC permanent employee:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/bbc-to-figh ... ukbxd.html

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by StevePIraq » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:02 pm

Sorry I was mixed up with Andrew Drummond
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/most-sued ... -thailand/
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by margaretcarnes » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:04 am

caller wrote:
Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:14 pm
margaretcarnes wrote:
When this matter was first reported on a couple of months or so ago. The beeb issued a statement that they were fully standing by Head. Nothing has changed in that respect. I think there's more at stake here than Head's fate. It's about the future of independent journalism not just in Thailand, but many other places and this has the potential to become a test case.

so maybe it needs a global organisation like the beeb to come along and be the standard bearer. Let's see who blinks first.
At one time I would have agreed that the Beeb could have been a standard bearer for the freedom of journalism, but times are changing in many ways. The UK is going to need to cosy up to non EU governments. Thailand is going through uncertain change, and Trump isn't keen on the Beeb either. I wouldn't like to bet on who blinks first!
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by caller » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:50 pm

Sorry Mags, I can't really buy into the scenario that you are portraying, that Head will be left to his own devices because of greater UK economic needs. Last time I looked, I could buy any number of established UK brands here, including Dyson.
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by Bristolian » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:53 pm

caller wrote:
Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:50 pm
Sorry Mags, I can't really buy into the scenario that you are portraying, that Head will be left to his own devices because of greater UK economic needs. Last time I looked, I could buy any number of established UK brands here, including Dyson.
:agree:
But perhaps for different reasons. If the Beeb were to walk away leaving JH to face this on his own there would be a riot in their ranks of journalists/reporters. How could they ever recruit or keep the best if they feel that at any time they can be left hanging. If for no other reason the BBC can not be seen to be walking away and even more so after they have repeatedly said that they will support him.
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:26 am

For all of the holier than thou statements about press freedom, both the BBC and Mr. Head need to think of one possible outcome, someone could end up having a long term stay in the Bangkok Hilton and that will not be the BBC
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by dundrillin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:23 am

It's a free press that keeps us free

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:37 am

And where is there a free press, the USA or UK, I don't think so the press is largely controlled by huge businesses that are all politically aligned.
And why on earth does the press keep anyone free.
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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by dundrillin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:57 pm

StevePIraq wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:37 am
And where is there a free press, the USA or UK, I don't think so the press is largely controlled by huge businesses that are all politically aligned.
And why on earth does the press keep anyone free.
The BBC is independent of government and paid for out of taxation, paid for via the license fee. Even media that are privately owned have a good record in exposing political corruption,unsavory business practices etc. think Watergate for starters.

What do you attribute freedom in the western democracies too?

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by Felipesed1 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:42 pm

Certainly not the BBC! They actively suppress any criticism of the EU, anthropogenic climate change theory, crime waves in Europe by "refugees", crimes committed in UK by Muslims; in fact any topic that does support the inherent bias in their management culture is not reported.
Then we had the biased reporting of the US election, and subsequent one-sided articles critical of the new President.
And back to topic, JH may well be correct in this matter, but in the past he has shown a pronounced bias to the Red Shirt movement, so perhaps the Government thinks he is getting what he deserves.

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Re: BBC journalist faces five years in jail for reporting Thai fraud

Post by StevePIraq » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:52 pm

It is a good thing Mr. Head does not report from Saudi Arabia or he would have lost his head a long time ago, whether he was right or wrong.
May 2008, Jonathan Head, BBC correspondent and FCCT vice-president
He was accused of lèse majesté three times: (Mod edit: discussion on royalty not permitted on this forum) He was not deported, but left Thailand at the end of his three-year BBC assignment.
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