The title you put on top of my letter published on pg. 12 of the current issue of
the Phnom Penh Post was not really the best you could have chosen, as it doesn't
reflect the main aspect of my critic; the best one would have been something like
"Jennar trapped by an unprofessional self-proclaimed journalist". To call
Matthew Grainger a "mental defective" wasn't the aim of my reaction.
Beside a few mistakes made by the person who re-typed my letter, there is one point
on which I want to react: the Editor's note published below my letter. It says that
Mr. Jennar's interview had been openly tapped, with a prior permission from him.
A double lie has been added on top of a lack of professionalism! Indeed, I called
Mr. Jennar back to question him about this assertion; he told me how Matthew Grainger
had brought a mess of papers and former issues of the Post, put all on the table
or desk in front of Raoul Jennar and started to have an open discussion. Suddenly,
during the discussion, Grainger moved some papers and - "a big surprise!"
- a tape recorder was running! Raoul Jennar told me how surprised he had been but
didn't oppose to the continuing of this recording. This is to say, as Raoul Jennar
firmly state to me, that:
- He had in no way given any prior approval to the tape recording of that discussion;
- The recording of the first part of this discussion was hidden, which was exactly
what happened to prince Norodom Sirivudh.
The reproaches made to Matthew Grainger in my letter are therefor still 100% valid.
Meanwhile, the damage has been made: because of Matthew Grainger's heavy lack of
professionalism, Mr. Jennar won't lead the EU program initially intended to train
Cambodian journalists. The coward anonymous "EU donor" mentioned in Grainger's
article can be happy, even if the cancellation of the EU media program is due to
the will of saving money for other purposes, as he must know.
Never since 1992 had an article published in Cambodia raised so many and strong reactions
from Westerners against its author! The letters sent by individual readers as well
as by colleagues and even Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters without Borders) are
as many evidences of the heavy professional mistake made by Matthew Grainger and
other self-called amateur journalists mentioned in his article. Let's hope this will
teach them a profitable lesson of prudence in their occupation. And I hope that,
as Editor-in-Chief, you will assume a tighter control on your personnel's work to
avoid discrediting the Post itself, which would be highly regrettable...
- Alain Henry de Frahan, Phnom Penh.