Following the announcement that The Phnom Penh Post, and Post Khmer, its Khmer language sister paper, will cease publication in print form on March 29, several social observers, government officials, intellectuals and readers were prompted to share their thoughts at the end of more than 30 years of a morning coffee staple.

Khieu Kanharith, former information minister

“It is most unfortunate, as I read this newspaper every day. I read almost every paper that is published in Cambodia because the information in each one complements the others. The loss of one paper may not affect the promotion of reading, but it does shrink the horizon of information.

Puy Kea, Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) president 

“Despite the fast-paced world of digital technology and the rise of online journalism, the loss of a print media giant that ran for more than 30 years is really sad. I would be happy if The Phnom Penh Post continued to broadcast online. The cessation of the physical newspaper will not affect the freedom of the press, but could be a detrimental factor in the promotion of reading in Cambodia.”

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute 

“Personally, I regret the closure of the print edition of The Phnom Penh Post. This newspaper has maintained an excellent reputation for more than 30 years, so its absence will be felt by many readers. Despite technological advances and the transition to an online platform, information released in print form was a valuable part of The Post’s identity.

“Indeed, The Post is a newspaper that has earned the trust of its readers. I personally have learned new things, gained important information and heard many excellent opinions from The Post. I was a long-term reader of the paper, especially the print form, because it was a useful resource that I could archive. Websites and online platforms can be taken down or lost, so hard copies remain invaluable in my opinion. I regret the decision to cease the publication of the print edition and would like to see renewed investment in The Post, which allowed the print and online editions to run in tandem, as in the past decades.

Kheang Sochivi, research fellow and lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)

“For many years, at each of the many institutions I have worked at, I have always suggested that my colleagues buy copies of The Phnom Penh Post and keep them in the staffroom so we can all gain important information and develop our individual knowledge. Personally, I try to save a lot of old copies as reference documents. I was very sorry to hear the news, because I still believe that the promotion of reading and general knowledge is incredibly important for civil servants, students and intellectuals, as well as the general public. I know three or four of The Post’s writers and journalists. They are all well-trained and have the ability to analyse, investigate and write professional, ethical articles which cover important fields.

“I am very sorry that The Post, which provides comprehensive, useful, impartial information to the Cambodian people, will be shut down. The Kingdom has thousands of public and private institutions, national and international organisations, embassies and universities. If the leaders of each of these institutions ordered subscriptions to the paper, this could help this valuable news resource to continue to serve society, share information, promote reading, and offer in-depth analysis and knowledge to all members of the public.

Meas Nee, a social development researcher

“This is the digital age, and many physically published newspapers, some of them state-owned, are closing down. This is certainly cause for regret, but the fact is that they are competing with digital platforms. This is true globally, not just in Cambodia. Of course, as an independent newspaper, if The Phnom Penh Post remains online, it will still provide two main benefits to society.

“Independent media outlets publish detailed information and opinions from the public, and are a good way for the government to get a sense of public feeling. Some newspapers are pro-government and only attempt to curry favour, rather than share true facts. Independent media like The Post is also of enormous value to researchers and analysts, as it is a reliable source of facts. It is a shame that the world has developed to a point where independent news agencies appear to have lost their value, but regretting this does not chance the reality.

Pa Chanroeun, president of non-profit think-tank Cambodian Institute for Democracy

“I read many newspapers, including The Phnom Penh Post. In addition, I have given many interviews and offered comments on many economic, social, political, human rights and democratic subjects to The Post. I think the closure of this paper will affect access to information for many Cambodian people, especially those who like to read the news in English.

“It is true of course that more than 12 million Cambodians use the internet, but it seems to me that they will get their news from social media rather than going directly to the website of a newspaper. I also want to point out that The Post has always been professional, and independent, to an acceptable level.