Subscribe Search

Search form

Guardians of the truth, disruptors of the status quo

Lindsay Murdoch, The Post’s roving correspondent, on the roof of the Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in 1985. Michael Hayes
Lindsay Murdoch, The Post’s roving correspondent, on the roof of the Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in 1985. Michael Hayes

Guardians of the truth, disruptors of the status quo

For four decades I have written stories only for The Age in Melbourne and other Fairfax Media publications, with one notable exception.

When Michael Hayes founded The Phnom Penh Post in 1992, I offered to become an unpaid bureau chief, filing variously from Canberra, Melbourne, Jakarta and Darwin, over many years. It was a great honour to have my name under The Post’s masthead.

The newspaper has been providing invaluable coverage of Cambodia’s political, economic, social and cultural issues, and development for a quarter of a century. Its reporters, photographers and editors have consistently and bravely shone lights in dark places where few others dared tread. Its fierce independence became legendary in the world’s free media.

It has never sided with any political party or movement or pursued any hidden agendas. The paper’s mission has been to print the truth, regardless of the consequences.

However, I have become increasingly alarmed about attacks on The Post at a time vested interests across the world are spruiking the notion of “fake news”.

Claims the newspaper is involved in some sort of alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government in Phnom Penh are simply not true.

If the Cambodian government wants to call itself a “democracy” it should recognise the importance of an independent publication like The Post that has prided itself on providing balanced, fair and accurate coverage of Cambodia and the region.

Other organisations in the country should also acknowledge that freedoms and decency can only flourish if there is a vibrant and inquisitive free media.

Take a bow, Post.

Lindsay Murdoch is a three time winner of the Walkley, Australia’s top award for journalistic excellence. He is currently based in Bangkok.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially