Newspapers

Newspapers are print media of considerable importance in Thai people’s daily life, with a great influence over consumers, especially in cosmopolitan Bangkok. Newspapers also cost less than other print media, which suggests that they will continue to be popular with the public.

Newspapers in Thailand come in several types, according to their target groups:

  • General newspapers (daily, tri-daily, weekly)
  • Business newspapers (daily, tri-daily, weekly)
  • Sports newspapers (daily, tri-daily)
  • Entertainment newspapers (daily, tri-daily)
  • Foreign-language newspapers (English, Chinese, Japanese)
  • Local newspapers (North, Northeast, South)
  • Newspapers on line


About 25% of the Thai people read newspapers regularly every day, mainly to keep up-to-date on happenings in society, to get a deeper understanding and background information on various stories, to read for entertainment, and to read for data and information they may use in making decisions on various matters. Thai people’s main topic of interest is politics, followed by entertainment, crime, new knowledge, social issues, sports, economy, and trade and investment.

Radio

Radio broadcasting plays an important role in the lives of the Thai people, with its nationwide coverage, making it the medium with the widest reach to a mass audience. Also, radio transmitters and receivers cost relatively little. The broadcasts can be received with no great effort, even by farmers working in their rice fields, many of whom have little education.

Popular radio programs in Thailand, by program type
Type Percentage
Entertainment 64.1%
News 32.9%
Documentary or general knowledge 2.5%
Opinion / analysis / education and business / advertisement 0.5%
Source: National Statistical Office, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology


Television

Television is regarded as the most influential medium, primarily owing to its ability to present moving pictures and sound simultaneously, enabling messages to be delivered to consumers in the most efficient way.

Apart from the free-to-air television channels, or free TV, Thai people also receive satellite television and subscription television, which are composed largely of programs from foreign countries, providing international news, information, and entertainment.

Popular television programs in Thailand, by program type
Entertainment Emphasizing fun and enjoyment, such as soap operas, movies, variety programs, talk shows, game shows, and music programs 57.7%
News Presenting current events of interest to the public 40.0%
Documentary / general knowledge Emphasizing knowledge and the sharing of experience on general topics, such as cookery program, art and culture, and various features 2.0%
Opinion / analysis Providing opinions and analytical views, such as economic analysis 0.2%
Educational and business program / advertisement This type of program is meant for direct teaching and learning, based on curricula, such as science and technology and language courses 0.1%
Source: National Statistical Office, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology

Magazines

Magazines are print media that enjoy increasing popularity among the Thai people. Magazines have specific target groups, unlike most newspapers. The Advertising Association of Thailand has classified magazines available in the market into 15 types, as follows:

  • Political magazines
  • Sport magazines
  • Children’s magazines
  • Photography and printing magazines
  • Travel and tourism magazines
  • Business and advertising magazines
  • Entertaining magazines
  • House magazines
  • Women’s magazines
  • Men’s magazines
  • Car magazines
  • Art and culture magazines
  • Economic magazines
  • Health magazines
  • Family magazines


Although on-line magazines have become increasingly available, the Thai people remain committed to their favorite magazines in print, as the choices reflect the readers’ own projected self-image.

Thai men prefer travel, car, and house magazines, while women select women’s magazine first, followed by health, travel, and entertainment magazines. The reasons they cite are benefits from those magazines, followed by additional knowledge, upto- date contents, and entertainment.

Internet

The internet has increasingly grown in popularity in Thailand – not only among the general public, who surf the web looking for information and entertainment, but also among businesses and organizations wanting to inform the public about their products or news or opinions – because it is a medium that reaches consumers worldwide and can be directed at real target groups, wherever they are in the world, as the internet works around the clock.


The Thai people’s internet use has constantly grown and is unlikely even to slow down. The consumption of the internet increases every day among all age groups, but most noticeably among teens. The consumption of media on the internet is in accordance with social movements. There is also internet coverage in all areas of the country, with special promotions offered by service providers, making internet use ever more convenient and affordable.

Number of internet users in Thailand, by activities
Keeping up with the news 65.05%
Sending and receiving e-mail 14.61%
Playing games 14.44%
Education 1.73%
Downloading files 1.32%
Having conversations 0.74%
Reserving and buying merchandise 0.58%
Chatting, expressing views 0.42%
Telephone 0.09%
Others 1.02%
Source: National Statistical Office, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology

Local Media

Local media programs in Thailand are produced in local areas by residents, and are meant for residents themselves. They emerged for groupings of people in certain undertakings, primarily agriculture, largely with the use of local dialects and promoting local culture, such as the provincial radio programs for each province in the Northeast, which usually air performances of the well-known mo lam songs and present news and other information in Isan dialects.

The local media not only help preserve local art and culture for the new generations, but also respond to specific problems, as residents have access to information and are able to unite to solve problems. Another goal of the local media is to ensure that people in the community learn and accept the opinions of one another, and gain better knowledge about the production process of various media, as well.

Several types of local media are produced in Thailand:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Radio broadcasts
  • Television
  • Internet websites.