Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bribing journalists




Bribing journalists

Bribing journalists

Dear Editor,

Last month, the Post wrote a story about bribes or gifts to

journalists by organizers at a meeting or press conference. Now it has come to

their school.

Last week, I witnessed organizers of another press

conference in a hired meeting room at the Cambodia Communication Institute

distribute money to journalists again. I appreciated their generosity towards

our media colleagues. But what was the real motive?

I would like to

express my concern as a journalist, and not on behalf of the institute, over the

so-called "gifts" to reporters who attended the conference. First, I think the

$5 tips to journalists could only make them go from bad to worse.

We

recognize the good work of many journalists who have tried to do their job

professionally. But some journalists have very little knowledge of professional

practice.

Often we see abusive language, biased reports, and distorted

facts in some publications, along with defamation and intrusion into private

life.

These journalists may be among those vulnerable to manipulation by

crooked businessmen and politicians who use money to buy their

favor.

What was sad about the conference at CCI was that the

co-organizers were from a local NGO and a UN agency. I wonder how they wrote it

in their budget report. Was it "gifts" to journalists?

It was even sadder

that these "gifts" were distributed at a journalism school where journalists are

taught to be ethical and not to accept "gifts".

I appreciate the actions

of the two women reporters from the Khmer Women's Voice Magazine and other

journalists who decided to walk away when they were called out to get the

money.

I would like to remind the organizers that even though their story

got a space in a newspaper one would still buy it or read it based on news

judgment. A good journalist will write a good story without being paid by its

source.

There are many ways to help journalists. One is to help them with

training to improve themselves. Or if an organization or ministry wants to

highlight their activities, they can arrange a writing contest with the

participation of a panel of professional judges.

I wish not to identify

or offend the organizers of the press conference. I can understand that what

they did might be from their sincere kindness to help journalists. But I do wish

they hadn't helped them in this way.

- Moeun Chhean Nariddh, Trainer, Cambodia Communication Institute

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told

  • Eight people sent to court over violent protest

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Sunday sent eight people to court for blocking National Road 4 and using violence against authorities in a land dispute in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune. Four police officers and two commune security guards sustained injuries when the protesters