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Thailand: BBC Begins ‘Pop-up’ News Stream

Digital-only news stream on Facebook strives to keep country informed

In the wake of Thailand’s May military coup, where international channels, including BBC World News TV, were taken off the air temporarily, the BBC World Service has launched a “pop up” news operation.

The service, which began on July 10 at 6:30 p.m. Thai time (GMT +7), is an information stream on Facebook with regional and international news in Thai and English. It will run for an initial period of three months.

“One of the fundamental principles of the World Service is to bring impartial and accurate news and to countries when they lack it,” said Liliane Landor, controller of Language Services for the World Service. “We think the time is right to trial a new Thai and English digital stream to bring trusted news and information to people inside Thailand.”

Landor also noted that since the country is “one of the most digitally advanced in South East Asia,” they were able to set up the operation quickly and cost-effectively. The World Service’s Thai Service closed in 2006 after more than 60 years on air.

The BBC says that it has sought and received approval from the Foreign Secretary for this move, as set out in the Operating License governing the relationship between the World Service and the government.