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Crash kills advocate for ethical journalism

Sek Borisoth (second left) attends the opening ceremony of a training program on access to information earlier this year. Facebook
Sek Borisoth (second left) attends the opening ceremony of a training program on access to information earlier this year. Facebook

Crash kills advocate for ethical journalism

Sek Borisoth, a journalism professor and NGO worker who long advocated against corruption and for better education, died in a car accident on Sunday evening in Kratie province’s Sambor district. He was 60.

The director of communications at French education NGO Aide et Action, Borisoth was travelling with three others to Ratanakkiri province when their car crashed trying to avoid a girl crossing the street. The driver and two colleagues sustained minor injuries.

The Battambang native, who claimed he was nine years younger so he could get into school and catch up on his studies after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, started his journalism career in 1984 with the Ministry of Information’s Cambodian News Agency, where he worked first as a translator and later as head of the current affairs bureau.

Since then, Borisoth has donned multiple caps in the NGO sector, including at the anti-corruption group Pact Cambodia and the Cambodian Journalist Council for Ethics.

“He used to multitask many roles. More recently, he wanted to work to make sure children have the chance to go to school,” said Moeun Chhean Nariddh, of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, where Borisoth was chairman of the board.

He was also revered for his work as an ethics lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Department of Media and Communications (DMC), with condolences pouring in as news of his death spread.

“He was very passionate about sharing his knowledge with students,” said DMC director Som Ratana. “Everyone here is in grief and can still feel his presence.”

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