Chiang Mai, Thailand
Fellow Since 2001
Prachadham News Net
This profile was prepared when Suchada Chakpisute was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Suchada sees that mainstream media in Thailand caters to what the public likes to see–and buy–often at the expense of providing in-depth analysis of issues, especially those that shape the lives of the poor. To counter this trend, she has established Thailand's first independent news agency. Instead of disseminating articles through alternative media, which attracts a small, typically intellectual and already-informed audience, Prachaddharma News Net takes advantage of established media to reach a large, diverse audience. It distributes daily and weekly news stories to subscribers in Thailand's existing media network–a network that reaches most of the country's sixty-two million people. PNN works through a nationwide network of volunteers, academics, civil society workers, and investigative journalists to identify news and write stories. Suchada hopes that by working closely with newspapers, television, and radio, PNN will encourage mainstream media to responsibly report on issues relating to the poor.