The Preah Vihear Times, a newspaper dedicated to investigative coverage of conflict and genocide in Southeast Asia, will be published by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia starting in June, DC-Cam’s director Youk Chhang said yesterday.
Youk Chhang said the new publication, which will complement DC-Cam’s quarterly magazine, Searching for the Truth, will seek to differentiate itself from the Cambodian press through printing investigative articles on conflict rather than daily breaking news.
The Times will be published in English and Khmer, and appears set to stake a regional claim.
It will have two primary areas of focus: genocide and conflict awareness in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, and issues “with cross-border implications or the potential to lead to conflict, such as land and natural resource management”, according to a job description circulated over the weekend.
Socheat Nhean, a staff member at DC-Cam, has been named as the publisher. He said yesterday that the Times will have eight pages in English and four in Khmer, and will include colour.
“We used the name ‘Preah Vihear’ because it is the Khmer soul, and we have just registered [the temple] as a World Heritage site,” Socheat Nhean said. “When we hear about Preah Vihear, we will think about our nation.”
The eleventh century temple at Preah Vihear was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2008, and has since been a flashpoint of tension between Cambodia and Thailand, both of which claim a neighbouring 4.6-kilometre area.
Socheat Nhean said the paper will start as a biweekly and perhaps become a weekly or daily.
The Times will be given out for free to the government, universities and NGOs for six months, after which it will be sold as other papers, he said.
Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, granted DC-Cam permission to print the Times on August 18 last year, according to a copy of the letter posted on DC-Cam’s website.