his issue marks the second anniversary of the Phnom Penh Post. As the oldest
existing independent newspaper in Cambodia, the Post celebrates its birthday,
regrettably, in an environment of increasing concern among the journalistic
community and the general public over whether or not a free press will continue
to flourish in the Kingdom.
In recent months several papers have been
shut down, editors have been arrested and journalists have complained about
Will a free press survive in Cambodia? Will the Phnom Penh
Post be able to celebrate its third birthday one year from now? Only time will
From my own perspective as publisher of the Post it goes without
saying that a free press must be a responsible press.
In this regard, I
dare say that our record to date when compared with other papers in the Kingdom
has been exemplary.
We have at all times taken great pains to provide an
accurate accounting of current events as they unfold in the country. To the
point, the Post has few if any apologies to make for its track record to date,
and I stand 100 percent behind the reporting of all Post
However, the Post like all newspapers will from time to time
get the story wrong. But as I said 52 issues ago in the inaugural edition of the
Post, we stand ready to be corrected. More importantly, the Post has been and
will continue to remain open to comments, criticism and countervailing opinions.
For those readers who disagree with our news analysis, the paper welcomes
alternative viewpoints from any and all quarters - public, private, non-profit,
When all is said and done, and in spite of what the
future might hold for the Post, I feel a definite sense of pride in what all of
us here at the paper have achieved to date.
Should, at some point down
the road, the Royal Government determine that the continuance of the Phnom Penh
Post is not in the best interest of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I will take comfort
in the fact that for at least two years the Post was warmly received by the bulk
of its readers.
Letters from our Cambodian readers have perhaps provided
the greatest source of encouragement. A doctor in Pursat, a student in
Battambang, an NGO worker in Kompong Cham were just a few of the Post's readers
who took the time to write in to thank us for our efforts.
The gist of
their message was that they were extremely grateful to have an independent
source of news on what was happening in Cambodia, something which had been
completely unavailable to them for more than two decades.
With this in
mind, the Phnom Penh Post will continue to provide to the best of its ability an
accurate and reliable source of "independent news and views".
country that has experienced so much hardship and suffering, it is my firm
belief that the people of this very special Kingdom deserve nothing less.
- Michael Hayes, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief