Pineapple Eye's radio shows - and soon Internet TV and radio stations - are bringing together children from all over Thailand
STORY BY AMITHA AMRANAND, PHOTOS BY YINGYONG UN-ANONGRAK
It was two hours before they went on air, and the children and young adults were ordering their lunch and sitting down to discuss stories for their radio shows.
"I'm not sure whether we should do this story. Some people don't want us to talk about it ... it might be too sensitive," said 20-year-old Arisara Sangsiriwiwat.
After a frank discussion and some encouragement from the adults at the table, the story - involving an illegal medicine that had caused harmful side effects to children in a village - made it into the show.
An hour later, the radio presenters arrived with their parents in tow and material for the show in brightly-coloured books. ML Nalinnipa Kasaemsan, a mild-mannered tenth-grader with a marked fondness for extracurricular activities, quietly listened to an adult giving her tips on radio skills. Praewa Tantawin, an articulate 11-year-old who meets adults' eyes with equal measures of sweetness and boldness, talked about a fantasy story she wrote for the afternoon programme, entitled Amnat Pid Pid (The Wrong Kind of Power).
This group of youngsters, with ages ranging from nine to 21, comes together every Saturday afternoon at the Public Relations Department's radio station to broadcast two live radio shows. The reasons behind their desire to be involved with the radio news programme are as diverse as their ages. Although some admit that like any teenagers, having a radio show of one's own is as cool as it gets, they knew, coming into it, that they weren't going to be playing the latest pop tunes or talking about celebrities.
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