ABSTRACT

The complexities that surround the topic of sex trafficking in both the US and Thailand, and the respective governments' responses to the issue, can only fully be understood within the context of each country's history, culture and political landscapes, which, in turn, influence the media landscape and how human rights are reported on in both countries. This chapter briefly discusses each country's history and how social and political developments have impacted each media system. The legal mechanisms include various measures of state control via laws and constitutional statues as well as systems of media ownership. Little research has analyzed the Thai media landscape, particularly in comparison to that of the US. In combination with economic factors like ownership, there is a well-documented racial bias in an array of American media. Racial tensions remain prominent in the country and M. E. Gist argued that "news judgment inevitably reflects the perceptual biases and cultural anchors of those making the judgment."