The state of the media in Cambodia

The state of the media in Cambodia

Firstly, I would like to thank chairman David Armstrong, CEO Chris Dawe, publisher Ross Dunkley, editors-in-chief Kay Kimsong and Alan Parkhouse, lifestyle editorial director Peter Olszewski, group business editor Stuart Alan Becker, lifestyle editor Diana Montaño and all the staff for a warm reception as the newest member of the Post. 

I’ve contemplated for months whether I wanted to work for the Post, and have made my decision to work for the number one newspaper in the country.

As a former host of the PUC Radio Talk Show, on 90.0FM, I’ve interviewed more than 180 influential and successful people in all industry sectors addressing issues that affect this country.

Once again, I have a platform to express my opinions, and this time it is in print, raising awareness about the social agenda in Cambodia.

Every country has its problems, but since I have been living here, the problems of Cambodia have been affecting me. In my weekly column, I want to address these issues and come up with resolutions that could be a key factor in the country’s progress.

Having lived here for almost two years (June 26 is my anniversary), I can’t see myself living anywhere else but Cambodia, the country where I was born.

I hope to share ideas and experience with the younger generation, our future.

The print media in Cambodia definitely needs improvement, and is unprofessional. I’m not saying all the media are bad (some, like AsiaLIFE Cambodia, The Southeast Asia Globe and The Advisor, are good).

I’m talking about Khmer-language newspapers and gossip magazines, and specifically their use of grotesque photos of dead bodies. It’s enough to make you lose your appetite just viewing the photos.

Now I know why other countries still view Cambodia as just Khmer Rouge and landmines. Rebuilding a country takes time, and our media sector is still learning and growing, says Glen Felgate, the former general manager of CTN.

Led by the US and European countries, the principle of a journalistic “code of ethics” is followed internationally.  Mandatory courses such as Media Ethics and Standards teach students about taste, decency and acceptability. Shocking, distasteful photos should have no place in newspapers.

Journalists should try working on the content of their articles, rather than focusing on gruesome photos that bring back horrific memories of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime.  

In addition, you don’t need to publish the prime minister’s picture all the time. As I have been told by an insider, the prime minister doesn’t like his photos being published.

Publishing his photos all the time in your newspapers and magazines looks like you’re kissing his “ass”. If you want to be on his good side, buy him a real Cartier watch, not the imitation kind you can buy at the market. He would prefer this.

So write the story with substance and with facts to back up your statements, as this is considered “professional journalism”, and try to eliminate bloody photos of dead bodies.

Substance in the content of an article is very important, and will earn you credibility and respect from your readers and peers, as well as from the international forum.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on