Asia

Thai media protest proposed licenses for journalists

Thai media organizations are protesting a bill that would require journalists to be licensed and would establish a council that can penalize news outlets for violating professional standards.

The bill was submitted Thursday to a military-appointed body tasked with reforming the Thai government.

Journalists delivered a protest letter to the body and four former journalists resigned from the group that authored the bill.

The government says the legislation is needed to clean up corruption and prevent false reporting. But critics say it is a way for officials to avoid scrutiny.

The media in Thailand already face heavy restrictions, with strict lese majeste laws governing reporting on the monarchy plus monitoring of online activity.