Thai poll shows Northeast trusts Channel 3 and Thai Rath most, ASTV Manager least
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Thai poll shows Northeast trusts Channel 3 and Thai Rath most, ASTV Manager least

Between February 11-13, the E-Saan Center for Business and Economic Research (ECBER) surveyed 1,093 people in all 20 provinces of the Northeast (Amnat Charoen, Bueng Kan, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Loei, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nongbua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sisaket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Yasothon). You can find the poll results here or here. BP was initially not going to blog the poll as they dramatically oversampled students, those who are younger, educated, and higher income voters.* This skews the results to more business-orientated media and away from the less highbrow media. Nevertheless, despite this disclaimer, the types of questions asked are interesting. All media outlets are not equal in the eyes of the public and so this poll gives some insight in regards to voters in the Northeast.

BP: Yes, this poll is two months old, but BP doubts much has changed since then

Q1: What is the major way that you follow news?

A. TV, 58.5%
B. Internet, 20.4%
C. Newspapers, 13.1%
D. Radio stations, 8%

Q2. For TV news, what news do you watch?

A. Channel 3, 37.1%
B. Channel 5, 7.9%
C. Channel 7, 30%
D. Channel 9, 11.2%
E. Channel 11, 2.7%
F. ThaiPBS, 5.9%
G. NationChannel, 3.3%
H. Others, 1.8%

Q3. For TV news, who is the most credible/trustworthy and the most neutral (ความน่าเชื่อถือและเป็นกลางในการนำเสนอข่าว)?

A. Channel 3, 35.8%
B. Channel 7, 29.1%
C. ThaiPBS, 12.7%
D. Channel 9, 9.1%
E. Channel 5, 5.6%
F. Nation Channel, 4.8%
G. Channel 11, 3%

BP: There is a strong correlation between the channel that people watch and the channel people see as the most trustworthy/credible with the exception being ThaiPBS (i.e only 5.9% watch, but 12.7% trust ThaiPBS). While ThaiPBS is the public broadcaster, it is a relatively new name – only being established after the 2006 coup – and doesn’t have the same history as say BBC in the UK. At least for those in the Northeast – who make up one third of the population – Channel 3 is the clear favorite.

btw, to be frank, BP would have preferred if the divided this question into 2 questions. Being credible/trustworthy and neutral are two different things. People may trust a media outlet, but don’t necessarily see them as being neutral.

Q4: Who is the female news presenter/reporter that you would most like to give flowers to?

A. Kalamare (Patcharasri Benjama) of Channel 3, 27.3%,
B. Thapanee Ietsrichai of Channel 3, 15.5%
C. Narakorn Tiyayon of Channel 7

BP: Not quite sure why the question is worded as want to give flowers instead of who do you like, but alas it is. B is a well-known reporter for Channel 3’s Sahm Mitti news program. The other two are news presenters – although Kalamare is more entertainment, lifestyle news than hard political news.

Q5: Who is the male news presenter/reporter that you would most like to give flowers to?

A. Sorayuth Suthasanajinda, 32%
B. Kitti Singhapat, 21.5%
C. Pasit Apinyawat, 14.9%

BP: All three are from Channel 3. Clearly, the big news guy  is Sorayuth Suthasanajinda, which is also reflected by a nationwide ABAC poll released in the beginning of January where Sorayuth was the most popular news presenter in 2011 with 72%,** The number 3 guy, Pasit, is part of Sorayuth’s news empire (which is most well-known for their morning news program, but also early evening news). Kitti has his own late news program called Sahm Mitti.

Q5.Who is the most trustworthy/credible and neutral of the newspapers read (online and print)?

A. Thai Rath, 50.5%
B. Matichon, 14.1%
C. Daily News, 13.8%
D. Khao Sod, 10%
E. Kom Chad Luek, 9.2%
F. ASTV Manager, 2.4%

BP: Not really surprising that Thai Rath comes first and well ASTV Manager is last. It is easily the largest selling daily newspaper.

This poll is of course only reflective of the people surveyed – a nationwide poll with similar questions would be very interesting. It does give guidance on what people watch and read and who they trust. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the newspapers as the TV shows, particularly the morning TV shows, also look at the daily newspapers to see what the main stories of the day are.

*Survey Data:

Males   43.7%
Females 55.3%

BP: There are a few polls that oversurvey women. One just assumes women are easier to survey as they are more accessible.

18-25, 32.2%
26-35, 25.2%
36-45, 22.3%
46-55, 16.9%
56+, 3.4%

BP: Too many young people sampled…


Grade 6 (เรียนหนังสือ/ประถมศึกษา), 11.4%
Grade 9 (มัธยมศึกษาตอนต้น), 6.6%
Grade 12/vocational certificate (มัธยมศึกษาตอนปลาย/ปวช), 19.8%
Associate degree/higher vocational certificate (อนุปริญญา/ปวส), 9%
Bachelor’s degree, 44.7%
Master’s degree & Ph.D, 7.8%


13.3% are traders/self-employed,
10.7% are contractors/general labour,
6% are farmers,
24.4% are students,
26.8% are civil servants/state enterprise employees,
10.9% work for private enterprises,
2.8% are housewives/househusbands,
3.2% others

BP: Farmers seem a little low, but then again traders/self-employed and contractors/general labour may include those who work in the farming area and it is how people have defined themselves. People don’t always do the same thing and move between occupations. Students and civil servants are massively oversampled.

Less than 5,000, 26.8%
5,001-10,000, 26.2%
10,001-15,000, 16.3%
15,001-20,000, 9.2%
20,001-40,000, 14.5%
40,001+, 7%

 BP: That is 50/50 split between those under 10,000 and those over 10,000. This compares with 71 (under 10,000) and 29 (ove 10,000) for their poll last year.
**In some ways, Sorayuth’s high score is skewed upwards by his coverage of the 2011 floods – skewed in the sense that the question asks for their favorite for 2011 – but if the same question was asked today, BP thinks he would be in the lead.

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