The National Press Council of Thailand has issued guidelines on reporting news about COVID-19 vaccinations, following the publication of inaccurate reports by several media outlets.
According to the guidelines, the media should provide balanced information without inserting any personal opinions when reporting. They should also pay extra attention to the accuracy of news articles and images, it said.
Members of the media are expected to avoid sensationalising a news headline and carefully choose words that are concise and factual.
Dates of incidents or official information on COVID-19 vaccinations should always be mentioned in reports to prevent misunderstandings, it said.
A good balance between speed and accuracy in reporting should be maintained, the guidelines said. Whenever incorrect information is detected, a correction must be made immediately and published, it said.
The guidelines said seeking advice from medical experts before publishing a story on vaccination is recommended. Medical terms should be properly simplified and clarified.
The guidelines were issued following several questionable cases.
Thai PBS, for instance, used footage of a patient suffering from a skin rash as a result of a drug allergy in its report on vaccine side-effects in Udon Thani.
Following the case, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry lodged a police complaint against three Facebook users who spread the news report.
Recently, Channel 3 issued an apology for the headline of a news report that caused a spat between a national volleyball player and Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, over a statement Dr Visanuyothin made.