As media professionals, we would like to welcome the plan to seek consultations with the media and the public for the proposed access to information law.
However, journalists need crucial information for their stories to fulfil the public’s right to know and to avoid being accused or prosecuted for defamation or disinformation due to the lack of information.
We understand that various government institutions have legitimate reasons to withhold information deemed confidential related to health, privacy, military and others.
While waiting for the access-to-information law to be adopted, different government ministries and agencies need to start categorising information that is considered genuinely confidential and release the rest of the information to the public.
By so doing, it will not only facilitate the public and media’s access to information, but it will also save time and make life easy for government’s information officers to decide which information they can share with the media and public.
Moeun Chhean Nariddh
Cambodia Institute for Media Studies