A cursory examination of the Thai press reveals two things: A history of censorship, at times violently repressive, and sensational content centered on crime news. Reporters, editors, and publishers have been threatened, intimidated, and murdered in an effort to control the print media while front pages are filled with stories of violent crime and gory photographs. This paper explores both these forms of violence, censorship and crime news, to understand the relationship between the two. It argues that the prevalence of the latter—sensationalism—has resulted in part from the former, a historical process of increasingly murderous repression. So while the form and content of the print media in Thailand, as elsewhere, follow the financial imperatives of the market and reflect trends in current events, they do so within a framework of legal, professional, and informal relationships established over time with seemingly unrelated institutions, including the police.

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