Meet Courage in Journalism Award Winner Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Online Newspaper Director, Thailand

On trial for failing to immediately remove critical comments about the monarchy, Premchaiporn faces 20 years in prison.

By Lesley Kennedy • Reporter
chiranuch premchaiporn online newspaper direcotr thailand image
Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of Thailand's online newspaper Prachatai, will receive a Courage in Journalism Award this month.
Photograph: International Women’s Media Foundation

CP: My parents have passed away and I have sisters and brothers. I know that they’re not happy with this case. …Actually, they want me to switch jobs. … I didn’t do anything wrong—why [should] I have to quit? In our family, my mom raised me in a way that allowed me to decide what I want to do. [Journalism] is what I wanted to study. Everything that I decide in my life, I decide on my own. [I] try to let [my family] know that…I’m not fighting this alone. I have support from organizations, from my colleagues. I try to comfort them not to worry too much. 


More: Why is it important for you to continue to fight for Internet freedom?

PC: I think censorship in Thailand is too much, especially the Internet censorship. The Internet is not built for the censors; it’s built for the exchange, for the diversity of the idea, for multiple ideas.


…I think censorship in Thailand and other places in the world is [about] control. People have their own ideas, their own minds, to understand, to decide or have their own judgment. …And for me, it’s a public interest, not just a personal matter. …If I have a chance to talk with anybody or any authority, I will let them know that to censor the Internet is probably the wrong idea. The good idea is how you can let the people in the society decide what should be allowed. The Internet in Thailand is still a new thing. We still need time for the people to learn and let the people set the norms and [choose] what type of content we agree [on].


More: Do you ever think about switching to a safer profession?

PC: I will continue to work in the communications field because this is one thing that I love and I like to do.

Click here to learn more about the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Meet the other 2011 Courage in Journalism Award Winners:

Kate Adie, former BBC chief news correspondent

Parisa Hafezi, Reuters bureau chief, Iran

Adela Navarro Bello, general director of Zeta newsmagazine, Mexio

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First Published October 24, 2011

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