Potential Role of Alternative Media in Reducing Islamophobia: A case study of unrest in the southern provinces of Thailand

Dr. Srawut Aree ., Dr. Jaran Maluleem ., Dr. Mohd Faheem .

Abstract


Purpose: Media plays important role to develop a perception in a society. In this regard, there is growing consensus among the media specialists and academicians that certain mainstream media representation of Southern Thailand turbulence has been generating Islamophobia in Thai society. This trend is not in isolation from the global media obsession in negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims, and depicting Muslims as violent or as extremists. Lack of ‘media awareness’ about the underlying ethnic and cultural dimensions of the Southern Thailand turbulence often causes them pertaining Islam to the unrest. Methodology: This article design by the help of media orchestra in Thailand combines with the violent conflicts in Middle East constructs a simulation in viewer’s perception. Ultimately, this could potentially generate long-term hatred against Thai Muslim population. Findings: This article contends that alternative media has a potential role to disseminate factual news in a biasfree and popular fashion. It has the ability to reach massive audiences and act as the real ‘broadcaster’. Implications: The article argues that this might help reduce the current hatred towards Islam and Muslims. It describes that the alternative media utilized three modes in their reporting on the Southern Thailand turbulence; those are (a) providing sufficient space in presentation, (b) accessing the in-depth news sources, and (c) choosing words and images in a fair way. Originality: This could challenge the power of the mainstream media, which usually sets the social agenda. Thus, alternative media could potentially reduce the propensity of Islamophobia in Thai society.

Keywords


Islamophobia, Alternative Media, Mainstream Media, and Southern Thailand unrest etc

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