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10BANGKOK209 BANGKOK ENGAGES MEDIA AND PUBLIC ON HAITI

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VZCZCXRO7631
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHBK #0209/01 0260453
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260453Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9701
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7929
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5478
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL INFO
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 000209
SIPDIS
FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE TASK FORCE AND USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PRELKPAOKDEM OIIPHATH
SUBJECT: BANGKOK ENGAGES MEDIA AND PUBLIC ON HAITI
REF: (A) State 5277 (B) Bangkok 00148 (C) State 5871
1. Summary: Post engaged local Thai audiences in a variety
of ways to counter any possible misperceptions,
inaccuracies and misinformation regarding U.S. relief
efforts for Haiti. The centerpiece of the outreach was a
roundtable for Thai journalists held by the Ambassador on
Thursday, January 21. His statements received widespread
positive coverage and, taken together with other PA-led
activities, helped to ensure that the Thai public fully
understands the intentions and role of the U.S. government
in assisting with humanitarian relief for Haiti. End
Summary.
2. Comment: Thai public interest in the Haiti disaster
has been strong, as evident by the lead coverage and front
page headlines the story has received across both print
and broadcast news outlets. Although most criticism in
the Thai media has focused on the “paltry” initial
response from the Thai government, Post decided to
proactively engage opinion-makers to head-off any
misinformation and/or mischaracterizations of our
commitment to assist the Haitian people and government in
recovering from this disaster. End comment.
3. On January 21, Ambassador John hosted a media
roundtable for Thai journalists that included five major
Thai print dailies (The Nation, Bangkok Post, Daily News,
Kao Sot, and Naew Na) and two leading national
broadcasters (Channels 3 and 7). During the one-hour
media interaction, the Ambassador discussed U.S. efforts
to assist Haiti, but also emphasized that this was a
collaborative, international effort lead by the GOH and
UN. He also stressed that the U.S. is committed to the
long-term, sustained effort to rebuild Haiti and applauded
the RTG and the people of Thailand for their readiness to
assist as well. After the roundtable, the Ambassador
conducted an on camera, stand-up interview with national
broadcasters Channels 3 and 7. Questions focused on two
main themes: “Can you tell us more about long term aid to
Haiti?” and “How are you working with the RTG?”
4. The Ambassador’s interview with Channel 3 aired a few
hours later during a special segment on the Haiti disaster
featured during its late afternoon news program, while
Channel 7 carried the interview with the Ambassador in its
evening news broadcast (estimated combined peak
viewership: 13 million). The January 22 morning edition
of the Daily News (estimated circulation: 500,000) ran
extensive coverage of the Ambassador’s remarks from the
roundtable. Several local Thai dailies carried the
Ambassador’s comments from the roundtable in their online
editions.
5. PA also has actively engaged local media and the
public in an effort to forestall potential
misunderstanding and/or inaccurate reports about U.S
. activities in Haiti. On January 21, PAO, IO, and AIO met
with senior editors and foreign news writers from
Thailand’s most widely read newspaper, Thai Rath
(estimated circulation: 1 million), and had a cordial
discussion about a range of issues, including America’s
role in the Haiti relief effort. Two days earlier, the
Ambassador hosted a large reception at his residence and
paid tribute to Thai and U.S. efforts to relieve suffering
in Haiti; in the audience were many high-level contacts
and members of the media. On January 19, IO met with his
European Union counterpart to compare notes on media
coverage of the crisis and to ascertain points of mutual
interest.
In an effort to reach an even broader audience, over
the last week PA’s Information Resource Center (IRC) has
kept the Embassy website updated with the latest
information on U.S. relief efforts, as well as prominently
featured the “Help for Haiti” badge with a link to
information on how the public can donate to cause. In
addition, the IRC sent multiple Tweets on a range of Haiti
relief topics from the role that U.S. search and rescue
teams play on the ground to announcing the arrival of the
USNS Comfort in Haiti. Many of these Tweets have been re-
Tweeted and shared on several hundred Facebook pages. For
example, our January 15 Tweet on where to donate money to
the relief effort was re-Tweeted 101 times and had racked
up 774 Facebook shares. All in all, Post’s series of
Haiti Tweets have been shared a total of 1,022 times on
Facebook. JOHN

Written by thaicables

June 18, 2011 at 5:32 am

Posted in Haiti

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