Thai media demand gov't withdraw media regulation bill

Thai media organizations have called on the military government to withdraw a bill that would set up an appointed council to regulate print and online media and require journalists to be licensed or risk jail.

The Protection of Media Rights and Freedom, Ethics and Professional Standards Act was passed Monday by the National Reform Steering Assembly, a 200-member body appointed by the military after it took power in a 2014 coup.

Thirty Thai media organizations issued a joint statement Wednesday calling for withdrawal of the bill, which must get Cabinet and legislative approval before becoming law.

They say the bill's definition of who needs a license is too broad, and it restricts freedom of expression.