The Bangkok Post is an English-language daily newspaper published in Bangkok, Thailand. It is published in broadsheet and digital formats. The first issue was sold on 1 August 1946. It had four pages and cost one baht, a considerable amount at the time when a baht was a paper note. It is Thailand’s second-oldest newspaper. (The first newspaper published in Thailand was The Bangkok Recorder which began publishing in 1844, both in Thai and English.) The daily circulation of the Bangkok Post is 110,000, 80 percent of which is distributed in Bangkok and the remainder nationwide.
The Bangkok Post was founded by Alexander MacDonald, a former OSS officer, and his Thai associate. It was funded by the US State Department or possibly the OSS itself. After a military coup in the 1950s, the newspaper was acquired by Roy Thomson and has since changed hands multiple times. The current major shareholders are the Chirathivat family, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, and GMM Grammy PCL. Post Publishing PLC, the publisher of several Thai newspapers, returned a profit of 450,000 baht in 2016, compared to a 42.1 million baht loss the previous year.
On 14 May 2018, Umesh was “forced to step down” as editor of the Post after refusing to soften coverage critical of the ruling military junta. He said he would rather lose his position than bow his head. The Post assured its readers of its continued commitment to “editorial independence.” Some sources attributed Umesh’s ouster as editor to poor management style and ethical breaches. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha denied government interference in the matter
The Bangkok Post employs 179 journalists, including reporters, rewriters, editors, copy editors, photographers, and designers. 29 foreign nationals are employed as copy editors and print and digital news editors. All Post staff reporters must be Thai nationals due to the language requirement. Foreign staff writes for the newspaper’s news, op-ed, sports, business, and features sections.
The Bangkok Post portrays itself as being comparatively free from media censorship. However, it has been accused of self-censorship to avoid controversy or conflict with powerful individuals. During the Vietnam War, the newspaper failed to report on bombing forays made from US Air Force bases in Thailand over military targets in North Vietnam and Cambodia.
The Bangkok Post is a newspaper that has taken various positions over the years, ranging from generally favorable to the government to anti-Thaksin. It was once well known for Bernard Trink’s weekly Nite Owl column which covered the nightlife of Bangkok. The newspaper has a letters page where readers can express their opinions on local and international issues, and more than half of its readers are Thai nationals.
During the tenure of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the Bangkok Post largely followed the government line. The Nation, a competitor, actively campaigned for Thaksin to resign. Andrew Biggs viewed the Post as more staid than The Nation and his column in the Bangkok Post ended with the 30 December 2019 edition.
The Bangkok Post website provides an English language education section called Bangkok Post Learning. It helps Thais learn to read English by using the daily newspaper. Articles from various sections of the newspaper are provided along with vocabulary, reading questions, videos, and web resources. This section is intended for individuals studying English and teachers using articles in the classroom. The editor of Bangkok Post Learning is Gary Boyle.