While technology continues to developed, news websites are beginning to replace newspapers around the world. But are there still reasons to read newspapers instead of checking the internet for news?
Tep Sony, a youth who still likes to read printed papers, says that he finds newspapers to be more detailed.
“I have read newspapers for a long time, and I like reading newspapers because their articles are more obvious than online articles. For example, with the demonstration led by Chum Mey, the article in the newspaper was complete while the online version only had half the story.”
Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, said online media has the advantage of being able to get news to the public quicker.
They can post their news immediately, while newspapers have to wait for the next publication to get the news out. Sometimes, newspapers cannot publish the information until after it becomes old news. However, he said the quickness of news websites can pose other, more serious problems.
“If it is published too fast, it can be the wrong information if there is no time to verify. Most news articles in newspapers are verified because they take more time to publish.”
This was a problem after the traffic accident of Khemarak Sereymun, which took the lives of four people and almost killed the pop-star on March 7, when news sites misreported who had died. Initial online news coverage of the recent factory accident in Kampong Speu also misreported the number of deaths.
Chhay Sophal, editor-in-chief of a news website, said he always takes extra time to verify stories before posting them online.
“News websites compete with each other over speed, but for my website, we think of ethics. Sometimes, our hot news seems a little bit late, but it is important for us that our news is correct.”
Despite the inaccuracies of high-speed reporting, people still like to get their news fast. Nguon Serath, the political editor of Raksmei Kampuchea newspaper, said newspapers must find new ways of competing with online media.
“In order to compete in the market, we must offer news that serves the public interest with different, more interesting and deeper coverage than online news sites. Nowadays, we have gotten significant threats on the print media.”
But as one working for one the biggest local newspapers, Serath optimistically said because of trust in the quality of his newspaper, Raksmey Kampuchea will survive.
Nariddh explained the appeal of traditional print media over online media.
“Newspapers are still popular because we can bring them with us anywhere. And in Cambodia, the internet is not yet widespread, especially in the countryside.”
For the future, Nariddh gave tips for both newspapers and online news sites.
“The newspaper owners should continue their business models and not make it like in Western countries, where print media is almost abandoned. In Cambodia, we still really need it. And news website should verify their article in advance before posting in order to avoid mistakes.”