For the past few years the work of Bangkok-based photo-journalist Nick Nostitz has been regularly featured here on New Mandala. Long-time readers will be aware that Nick has often provided the only documentary reports of major events in recent Thai political history. On a shoe-string budget, Nick provides timely and incisive coverage from the front-lines.
In the past week he has been the subject of two substantial interviews: one at The Nation and the other at Absolutely Bangkok. There is also a long discussion at Bangkok Pundit where Nick very generously engages with some of his critics.
But I think his critics (at Bangkok Pundit and elsewhere) miss the point. In the Red vs Yellow street battles of recent memory Nick Nostitz has provided peerless blow-by-blow coverage. It is fair to say that his reports are read and discussed by pretty much everyone who follows these events closely. It is, in fact, unusual for me to have a serious conversation about Thai politics without somebody referring to Nick’s work.
This matters greatly because Thailand looks to be gearing up for another period of tension. There is a lingering sense that turmoil lurks, once again, just over the horizon. In any future confrontation or political upheaval the world (and that is not, in this case, an exaggeration) will look to Nick, and others like him, to try and understand what is happening in Thailand at the street-level. This is tough work. And it is not without its risks or hardships.
Nick feels that the risks and hardships are worth it. He gets out the stories that few others have managed to report. Long may he continue.