SEVENTEEN years after he and Kathleen put out the first issue of the Phnom Penh Post, founding Publisher and Editor Michael Hayes is leaving. It genuinely marks the end of an era.
I met Michael in 2001, when he offered me the managing editorship of the Post. He needed a replacement in a hurry since his first choice, based in New Zealand, had stopped returning his calls.
The Post had a great team then, and it does today. It is fair to say the paper has been lucky with the quality of its staff over 17 years.
That was seldom the case with money, leading to Michael being fondly nicknamed "Oknha Coupon" in reference to the necessity of handing out restaurant vouchers to top up the wages of his dedicated staff.
Over almost two decades the Post covered iconic moments in Cambodia's history. It survived tough times, some money-related, others political. There is no doubt his drive, enthusiasm and integrity steered it through the worst.
Many local and foreign journalists who started on the Post have gone on to greater things. Their successes are testament to the achievement that is the Post. Much of that credit belongs to Michael.
He leaves the Post in great shape as it continues along the rocky road that is Cambodia's media environment.
Robert Carmichael was managing editor of the Post from 2001 to 2003.