Newsline Time Again

A recent comment on one of my old posts about Newsline, an English spoken news program on channel 11, has prompted me to update everyone as to how the show is doing. My previous posts on it can be found here, here and here.

NOTE: Although I find Newsline a near constant source of entertainment, I would really like to see it improve because it’s the only local news program I can watch. So, if anyone linked to the show should read this, please take the things I say as suggestions of some of the aspects of the show that need fixing desperately.

The first thing you might be interested to know is that it has been moved to 9:30pm so if you were interested in seeing what I’m talking about, it’s much more accessible now. The answer to the question of why it was moved to a better time slot is one I cannot answer.

I should correct one of my posts where I said there are only two female newsreaders, which is wrong (or was at least, because I haven’t seen the third one for a while), because there was one who spoke very clear American english and was also quite good. Bar one person, women rule Newsline.

Before switching timeslots there was a promotion aired showing all of the newsreaders and giving a brief blurb about their background that was highly illuminating.

For instance the one person that stops women from completely dominating Newsline (which wouldn’t be a bad thing) was said to be a model, I kid you not. That could explain her difficulty in reading the teleprompt or pronouncing words in Thai and, hell, I’ve even seen the commercial she’s in.

The second one I can remember was Edward Ensco, who is apparently a radio personality. This explains a lot because there’s always been something not quite right about the him to me, and since seeing this I’ve realised it’s because he always talks like he is announcing something on the radio. Having said that though, he’s not actually so bad.

I can’t remember any of the others so they must have been forgettable.

One of the most comedic things I’d heard in a long time happened on the show before the switch that I’d like to share in case you missed it, and they have a lot of material that falls into that category.

Mouth, instead of spending 30 minutes describing how people should spend their money according to his suggestions or giving his opinion on the state of the US economy (or something equally irrelevant in Thailand), spent nearly his whole drawn-out segment telling the sad story about a new financial magazine that was due to be released next week but had been canned because there was a lack of market demand for it.

The reason why he spent 30 minutes talking about it? I wish I was joking when I say that the first issue featured an interview with him in it. After they finally cut back to the news readers Edward Ensco said “I can’t believe he just plugged himself!”.

The new format of the show has a roundtable segment where Mouth and whichever two newsreaders are on discuss the big news stories of the day. I actually really like this new segment, except when the model is on because she is such a bimbo or when Mouth spends 5 minutes trying to be politically correct by explaining that he didn’t mean something to sound a certain way and didn’t want to offend anyone while one of the female newsreaders I like tries to stop him by saying “It’s ok, they know!”.

As for the Robot that started this whole discussion, maybe I’m just getting used to him because he doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

8 Comments so far

  1. jl_333 (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

    I know this is a blogging site and you can say what you like, but please, give me a break… I’ve been reading your other various posts about Newsline and I, too, have some comments to share. Firstly, get a life man. You are a farang living in Bangkok with no cable and no conception of the Thai language (I can only assume this as you’ve repeated enough times that Newsline is “the only news show” you can watch). Maybe it’s time to make the giant leap towards cable TV or maybe you should quit complaining about the programs you can watch because you are too cheap to pay for others. Just a thought.

    And please, don’t get me wrong, I am not affiliated with Channel 11 or Newsline in anyway. But it constantly annoys me to great depth that you go into #1)typing repeated posts about the Newsline people and act like you are some sort of News guru, and #2)criticising the whole show when we both know you could not even do half the job they are doing. And I mean that honestly–You wouldn’t even be able to pronounce the names correctly, so lets not kid ourselves, ok?

    Oh my god, BREAKING NEWS: If you didn’t notice already (which you would have to be a complete and utter idiot not to), Channel 11 is a Thai-speaking channel. It is government owned and mostly all, if not every single one, sans Newsline, is Thai-speaking (I don’t flip to Channel 11 often, except for Newsline, because I have cable *cough cough*). Okay with that said, who do you think Newsline’s target audience is catered towards? Just think… And the answer is definitely not you.

    But let’s be real for one second… If you want ultra-professional news, you turn on BBC, CNN,etc. etc. If you want local English news on Thai TV, you turn to Newsline. Period. There is no other news show that is produced in English. It is a giant leap in Thai TV and I think something you should embrace instead of openly critcise. Got to give credit where credit is due. All I know is that it IS getting better. Not quite the level of CNN, but it is definitely a show I would watch on a regular basis. So, If you are so concerned with Newsline and so intrigued by the people in it, why don’t you head down to Channel 11 news and bring some constructed feedback. Hell, you might even get a job writing, since you seem like you know the end-all about the Newsline program. Get up off your arse and go down to the studio. It might pay off (or even better, pay your cable bills). But until then, get a life and quit complaining….

    have a good one! :)

  2. Ben Harris (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2005 @ 6:55 pm

    This most recent post of mine is easily the most pleasant one I’ve written about Newsline, mainly because it is getting beter since the move to the new timeslot. Actually, I pointed out that I like their new roundtable feature and that certain news readers are very good, so it’s not all bad.

    I do have an understanding of Thai, although not as well as I would like, but I don’t really understand how that relates to what you seem to think is a link between being farang and an innate need to have cable. Cable has 100 times the shows I would never want to watch than free Thai television.

    I have nothing against the show for the very reason you’ve pointed out – it is the only local english spoken news. As for certain news readers, they have two right now who are down-right terrible and I would love if they were better. I’ve already written to them a number of times to encourage the fact, but frankly it’s not my role to improve them.

    I’m only a viewer of their program though, so unless some new law was passed where it is no longer allowed to point out things I think are funny or stupid, I’ll continue to do so.

    Finally, If you’ve read what I’ve written and watched Newsline, you’ll note that everything I’ve said is completely true and I have not embellished any aspect. The show is getting better and I continue to watch.

    PS: I have a suspicion that the good female news reader is the same person who’s voice you hear at the airport.

  3. jl_333 (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2005 @ 7:50 pm

    The reason I attempted to dive into your conception of not speaking Thai well is that it directly correlates to your issue of not being able to watch other news programs. My comment was directly speaking to your issue of having “only one news show” to watch and since that may be the case, my simple suggestion of jumping to cable might alleviate your problem. And if news programs, such as Newsline, spark a rise out of you and get you to write letters to them or blog/post about it on the internet, then I think it warrants the idea of either A.)learning Thai so you can watch other news shows since you find so many faults with Newsline, or B.)get cable, flip on the western news, as you are obviously used to seeing and comparing, and then quit the yapping.

    And you’re correct, you have every right to point out what you feel is stupid or funny about Newsline. There is no Thai law prohibiting this course of action. However, with that said, is it really necessary to personally attack some of the news reporters? To some people, this may be their livelihood. It wouldn’t hurt to keep the smart ass remarks at bay (eg talking about “Robot”, “Mouth” or “Model”–as stated in your other posts). Those comments might fly over well in your country, but in Thailand it is just plain rude. Show some respect.

  4. Ben Harris (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 11:01 am

    I thought about your points and I am being harsh and overly critical of them. I’ll desist from doing so in the future.

  5. yrefdf (unregistered) on October 10th, 2005 @ 12:17 am

    I’m thai.I wonder why don’t you try to find the best kable TV?. And then, set it in your residence, Mr.harris. If you see this news program as a very bad program you’ve ever seen. I think you should only watch CNN or BBC or the western communication. Or read the english newspaper[like bangkok post] instead of watching this news program. And If you told me that you want to see they improve. Why don’t you send this criticism to them?. Why don’t you teach or train reporters?.

  6. Ben Harris (unregistered) on October 10th, 2005 @ 8:13 am

    I did send them my thoughts and they have improved quite a bit, although I doubt I can take credit for that.

  7. conserved (unregistered) on February 13th, 2006 @ 9:57 pm
  8. Doug (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2006 @ 10:36 am

    Copy my email to BKK Post sent today:
    The evening news show NEWSLINE on Channel 11 sponsored by the Bangkok Post is certainly appreciated by the foreign community in its attempt to bring English language insight into the national news. However, won’t it be appropriate to staff the show with some of the very capable Post staff writers who know the difference between editorial comments and just plain blabbering? What does TV broadcasting cost per minute? How much is wasted besides the viewers’ time in allowing Mr. Nattakorn to wallow in banal babbling speculation which he hopes to pass off as informed opinion. Although his observations may also be a bit shallow Mr. Edward brings a certain touch of class to the program which is definitely the result of the amalgam of his British upbringing. As an American I certainly hope that Mr. Natttakorn’s blithering in an almost American accent isn’t brought about by my country’s influence on his upbringing.
    If the Post has any influence over a show that it sponsors one would hope that we might be allowed to view true political insights based on substantive content as opposed to Mr. Nattakorn’s blustering.
    To recap; Nattakorn, banal, babbling, blithering, blustering. A lot of B’s, not to mention that other letter of the alphabet.

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