Categorized | Heard & Overheard

It’s Like Being Out There Naked

Posted on 09 December 2009 by admin

Colourful trinkets seem to be providing Mekong Media Forum participants little welcome breaks from the books and DVDs about the Mekong on display at the conference. On the first day of the Forum on Dec. 9, the MMF staff manning the bazaar booth reported brisk sales of the beaded bracelets, cloth business card holders and batik handkerchiefs, made by streetchildren in Chiang Mai, with prices ranging from 100 to 300 baht.* * *

“Why are the Chinese media not reporting about dams and about the flooding in Laos? Why are you missing out on all these information? Why must there be information gap…?” a Laos-based journalist asked, his arms enthusiastically gesticulating in the air as he peppered speakers at a session on ‘Shifts in the Media Landscape’ at the Mekong Media Forum.  Apart from adding spice to quite provocative sessions Wednesday, this very passionate spiel caught the attention of camera-toting participants so that in a matter of minutes, the camera flashes were all ablaze.

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As the Nation documentary ‘Mekong: The Untamed’ began to be screened at the first day of the Mekong Media Forum in Chiang Mai, its director and editor, Thailand’s Pipope Panitchpakdi, headed for the door of the meeting room. Asked why he was stepping out, he replied: “I don’t like to watch when my films are shown. It’s like being out there naked.”

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Mekong Media Forum translators were quite impressed with the high-tech looking translation booths the technical staff prepared for them. Each booth  came complete with new translation equipment and a computer monitor that gave them a close look at the presentation screen way up at the end of the huge Tharathong room. Except that, rued one translator, her monitor was  not working. (Note: The technical staff promised to fix the problem though.)

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