An attempt to explain a long story short.
ITV, independent television, was set up after the Mai 1992 bloodshed, the most violent in Thai history. It was centered around a university in
Northern part of Bangkok, where troops loyal to the ruling general Suchinda literally were slaughtering rioting students. This went on for several
days all the while the state(=army) controlled media reported absolutely nothing on the event.
People in Bangkok knew by word of mouth, which however seldom is heard in the Palace. But the world knew -- CNN and BBC was reporting from the scene.
Keep in mind, this was before satellite and cable television was established. The tidings finally reach the king via a relative abroad watching CNN.
The king, the supreme commander of all Thai forces knew nothing before he got the call.
The fighting was stopped and the general fired as head of government. He is still a general and has never been prosecuted. As a side-note important to
understand the rise of Thaksin Shinawatra, Suchinda was the benefactor who granted him the satellite concessions on which he made his fortune.
Anyway, the most important and visible outcome of the havoc was the establishing of iTV, as measure for this never to happen again, that matters of
importance to the nation should go unnoticed. An independent television station to report unbiased of the ruling powers.
The irony is, when Thaksin was in power he slowly but steady bought up the majority of stocks in the station in his aim of total control of news
outlets. In early 2006 iTV was part of his empire, Shin Corp., controlling all mobile communication and great parts of the media in Thailand. When he
sold the business to Singaporean Temasek, iTV was part of the sale. The sale netted some $2.5 billion, and was what started his downfall. The
deep-felt critic of his transaction are too wide and comprehensive to give in detail here.
A main focus in them was, he was selling off national assets. Therefore the criticism has gone to near national paranoia, and a hostility towards
Singapore out of any proportion. The not too competent military leadership of the country has widely added to that hostility by dropping defamatory
remarks to the press and pressing a legislation to hurt Temasek most possible. Now they got them fined out of business.
The short of the long: Thailand is heading towards press freedoms prior to 1992.
You will be able to read the story about iTV in detail by following the links in The Nation.
(visit the link for the full news article)